What do we mean by, “Work on one self?” What does it mean, “To Work,” and how do we understand that? What is it that resists these efforts in my practice?
I must remember that resistance is an extremely strong force that I do not understand. It is lawful. I need to respect it and accept it. I need to embrace it in my awareness to understand it better. I need to stop resisting the resistance. Of course there will always be resistance. In the practice of a spiritual path we are attempting the impossible. How could it be otherwise?
I must also be very careful when I describe my experiences. So often I fall into the trap of judging myself. I am constantly measuring good/bad, awake and asleep. This is all functioning. I need to be aware of all these things without measuring and criticizing. Be aware of all the inner movement. I need to see the entirety of my being in my awareness. I often use the words affirming or denying, resisting etc. very flippantly without understanding the incredible forces at work. I do not understand these forces. I only understand a very small portion of my functioning. I need to observe myself over and over again. I must learn to respect resistance.
I also need to keep in mind that the ego is useful. Without the ego I would have never searched for a spiritual practice. It is necessary to embrace all of the different parts of ourselves without any judgment. The unbecoming parts of ourselves that we observe are like small children that need to be guided.
It is so much easier to come to one self when working with others. It is quieter, the body is immobile and we are together in our efforts. In life there is chaos. It is far more difficult. We need each other but we also need life. Life is the greatest teacher.
It is also important to share our experiences. It gives us the opportunity to be in two worlds at once. One is the world of everyday manifestation which is present in ourselves when we are speaking or simply, when our attention travels outward. The other is the effort to be in touch with something deeper in one self and to attempt to describe it into words. This effort, in both directions, can place one in the epicenter of both of these worlds as they manifest through us.
It is also helpful in working with others to pool together our understanding, our wisdom and experience. As humans we fear the abyss. We fear the unknown and yet our contact with it gives us life. So we find ourselves gathering together here out of a common need. An inner need is being fed.
“It is a quality of silent wakefulness, informing and uniting the organism from moment to moment, that gives meaning to each choice and every action.” – Peter Brook