In the modern era we might be forgiven for taking a backward glance at traditional spiritual practices and meditation and asking whether they have been effective in bringing people to personal liberation and spiritual enlightenment.
On the face of it, they seem to have failed spectacularly. How many people today are enlightened? How many are still trying? Shall we try some more modern practices? Some that are adapted to the contemporary milieu we find ourselves in and which may lead us further into contemplation and toward peace and tranquility… at the very least?
First, try the luminous acceptance exercise. Actively allow everything to be just as it is. Take a minute to engage with what-is. What-is means tuning into sounds and sights, smell and feelings, the touch of the air on your skin, your thoughts, emotions, bodily systems and organs, as they are happening right now in this moment. Perfectly accept, invite and approve it all – all of it! – exactly as it is. Just a few minutes of this exercise and you begin to feel the luminosity of perfect acceptance.
People will say to you that nothing is perfect and they may say to you that seeing this luminosity is illusory. I say always strive for the impossible and everything is already luminous. You just have to realign to perfection now long enough to bring it into your natural awareness.
Notice how negativity and depressed energy habitually dull your finer spiritual senses to the light. The luminosity was always there, ever-present. Now you have seen it, remain aware of it all the time.
Second, try the ego-erasing exercise. The ego is truly a fantasy, a fiction. No one has ever produced one for inspection. It remains as elusive as the Loch Ness monster or the God particle in quantum physics (!). Every day commit yourself to one thing that challenges your ego-self. Do it without reaction or emotional charge. You don’t have to be vindictive toward something which doesn’t really exist!
For example, do something you really don’t want to do, on purpose. Pick up some rubbish from the street in full view of passers-by. If you can think of nothing else, your fallback practice is bowing or prostrating yourself (you can do this in private), because it is very hard to take yourself seriously, let alone feel self-important or egocentric, when you are lying face-down on the floor.
Third, try the unity exercise. Your mind separates and divides… absolutely everything. This is not how things are. Actually everything is one single unity, a unified whole. This is the spiritual lesson 101. This is how you can qualify in it. Relax, relax your senses, relax your body, relax your mind. Now wherever you are, experience everything without division, distinction, discrimination of any kind, drop preferences, identification, opinion, bias, prejudice, marginalization, judgment or criticism.
Slowly the world about you will merge and the experience of unity will flood into you. This doesn’t have to take any time (please don’t fall for that one!). The real state of existence simply is. It’s simply present, only waiting for your awareness to meet it. Breathe, relax, witness… and you are here… you are present… you are all that you see… and all that you see is you.
Please practice these three exercises – the luminous acceptance exercise, the ego-erasing exercise and the unity exercise – and help take some of the mystification out of spirituality. It is your birthright to be spiritually enlightened.