The World is saturated with modern-day Gurus who are all living examples of ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Moksha’. Lights and lanterns. Signposts. Spiritual Celebrities. Poster boys and girls showcasing what is available to each and every one of us if we want it. Many, (myself included) have looked at them, listened to them and desired what they appear to ‘have’, along with the experiences they describe in their beautifully crafted words. Common sense tells me that if I want what they have, I have to do what they have done. Right? In the same way that if I want to be as slim as a Catwalk Model I should follow the same diet and exercise regime… it is not going to happen to me by sitting in a room listening to her talk about, and describe her own body size and beauty. I have to take the action for myself to make it happen for me when I leave that room. I therefore concluded that the same principle must apply to ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Moksha’ (or whatever term people want to use), so rather than simply sitting in Satsangs and retreats I started asking myself whether or not I was learning how to do this for myself, or whether I just listening to someone describe their own experience and getting carried away with the atmosphere in the room. Was I actually gaining anything? Was I making progress? When I answered this question honestly, I realised that I wasn’t. I was having many lovely, heartfelt experiences, learning lots of pretty words that I could share with others, and meeting lots of lovely people, wrapping it all up as my ‘spiritual practice’ but nothing was really changing within me other than in those moments. I was getting lots of information about the ‘What’, but very little information about the ‘How’.
Then I found the World Yoga Festival and the Arsha Kula Foundation. It was there that I discovered the ‘How’ as opposed to the ‘What’. Teachers who were not only teaching, sharing knowledge and information, but who were genuinely interested in their student’s understanding and development. Teachers who wanted their students to ‘get it’ so that they no longer had to teach them. Teachers who wanted to see the light of realisation appear in their students eyes, rather than just a repeat order for the next book, meeting or retreat on an email.
Suddenly, things began to fall into place. The common thread that I had seen in each and every one of the other Guru’s words, practices and techniques was identified in the information being shared by these teachers, and many, many blinding glimpses of the obvious followed. I was actually (finally) learning the ‘How’! The truth for me, in and through all of these people, practices and experiences is now very simple: Use the lights, lanterns and signposts. Mark the names of the main roads and all the directions that I have already explored so that I know which way I am proceeding. Don’t stop at a light, lantern or signpost – they are simply markers for my path, not my final destination. Eradicate ignorance with knowledge. Obtain that knowledge from a Teacher. A genuine, competent, authentic Teacher who will help me learn, confirm my understanding, and provide me with knowledge and information rather than descriptions alone. When I have this knowledge, constantly practice it. This knowledge will then, through my practice, reconcile within me, and I will realise (ironically), that it was, in fact, there all along.
If I had to sum up my experience of studying this weekend in one line, that line would be ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free’.
Blog Credit to : Clair-Louisa Dart
With sincere heartfelt love and gratitude to you all.