Truth is Truth
I love how it happens when I am reading various spiritual books and I come across the same truths that we learn in AA. For instance, the concept of contrary action. This seems to be axiomatic in many schools of thought. Recently, in my Fourth Way group, we were all told to sit for 5 minutes every morning, upon waking. Not in a normal meditation kind of way, but upright, on a chair, back straight, feet on floor, hands one inside the other. Easy, right? Think again.
Of course its easy- its not like they asked me to bend spoons with my mind. In fact, the idea of its easiness is exactly what helps illustrate how unwilling most people are to do even the easiest of things. I am using myself as an example. I know all about contrary action- I write about it a lot, and I practice it often. It is a lynchpin of my personal philosophy. However, when confronted with doing this simple thing, I have had the hardest time adhering to it. Now- here are my reasons, and they are, seemingly, valid- I’m a tired single mom, I work a lot, I don’t get enough sleep, I roll out of bed and hit the ground running, I have two teenagers to wake up and get moving, etc. etc. These are not just reasons, these are excuses. EXCUSES. Reasons are just excuses that make sense on some level. I am able to totally justify my not doing this one little thing. And yet, by the simple act of putting all reasons, excuses, and resistance aside and simply doing the damn thing, I may experience a new level of consciousness.
Am I a Robot? Errr…apparently.
How is 5 minutes a day going to give me a new level of consciousness? Could it really be that easy? Well, the new level comes not just from the sitting, but by the whole process of watching all the automatic resistance that comes up for me. In all spiritual traditions, the concept of ‘waking up’ is very relevant. In Fourth Way, part of the waking up process is called Self Remembering. To remember my true self, I have to understand my false self, the one that is a robot. I have to see how programmed I am to do certain things certain ways all the time, consistently. I have to observe how I play small and make excuses. I justify my limiting behavior. I procrastinate. I look for an easier way. I’m on automatic pilot more often than I realize. It wasn’t easy to see before this 5 minute morning exercise, because it isn’t easy to really see ourselves at all. I can see only what I know- but it is finding out what I don’t know that liberates me from the bondage of self.
For the past few weeks I would drive to work and puzzle over why I didn’t do my sitting exercise, or why I kept having such a problem with it. At first, I really didn’t know. I said to myself- “I can’t do this, my life is too busy.” But for crying out loud, its FIVE MINUTES! FIVE! So then I really started to observe myself, and watch myself NOT sit. I watched myself do everything BUT sit. And I learned a lot that I didn’t know.