I had not intended to publish this blog today. I was on my way to writing another piece, when I found a bit of unfinished work in a file on my desktop. I had actually started this piece last year during one of my retreats at The Chopra Center. For whatever reason, it just felt right to add to it, and so here is the blog as it developed today.
“All you need is to stop searching outside what can be found only within. Set your vision right before you operate….Clarify your mind, purify your heart, sanctify your life—this is the quickest way to a change in your world.”Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I’m not sure when this occurred to me today. Perhaps it was during early-morning yoga, when I was lying on my white towel on the Terrace Lawn at La Costa, gazing at the grey sky. Or maybe it was on my walk back to my room past the rosemary bushes following the closing lectures of this weekend’s inspiring retreat. Or yet again, perhaps it was during my Ayurvedic massage, as I lay soaked with fragrant Vata oil, listening to ethereal Indian chants.
I don’t know when it was that this thought came into my mind. At some point, though, this sentiment–what ancient as well as contemporary sages have been telling us about the frivolity of “searching outside [for] what can be found only within”–nestled in me like a feather slowly falling from above and gently settling it its resting place. I realized not only that the truest richness of life, inspired consciousness, simply cannot come from the acquisition of things or anything to do with the ego, but that it can only be realized by an “un-becoming.” We arrive at it upon the peeling away of egocentric gains and masks. This kind of truth requires an unlearning of the outer or false self with which we cloaked, protected, and hid our spiritual essence, and a remembering of our truest, purest, most authentic being.
And how do we connect with this pure inner self? As it happens, as we “set [our] vision” before we act, we are not only connecting with our joy an desires, but these are also, by definition, part of the Divine from which we come into form. Discovering our bliss, therefore, always results from remembering we carry the Divine spark within us and that abundance and joy are always available. Always. The universe is ready, at every moment, to reveal to us in form what it is we most want to be and do and have.
The challenge for most of us is that we are often too busy giving energy to what we don’t want and to what causes us pain, and then we neglect focusing on what we do want. In other words, if we focused more on “[clarifying our minds, purifying our hearts, and sanctifying our lives],” giving attention to feelings of joy and abundance and fulfillment, we would actually see these manifest in our lives.
As Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj states, “this is the quickest way to a change in [our] world,” not because we’ve discovered answers “out there” somewhere, but because it is we who have changed. It is we who have connected to the pure energy and vibration of our truth.