Do you ever read the last few pages of a new book, just to see?
For most of my past, I would read the first few chapters of a fiction novel, get really engaged in it, and then read the last few pages to see how it all ends. Then I could just relax and enjoy the writing and how it unfolded. Otherwise, I was too anxious and would wolf down every page to see how it goes.
I found that my approach to spirituality was a bit like this, too. When would I become enlightened? How do I ascend? Am I falling behind? Who is the guru I need next? Or what teaching do I need now? My mind was asking the questions from anxiety, and not letting truth surface.
“Be in touch with the part of you that is not afraid of the bigger questions of life, the ones that underlie everybody’s life. What am I really? What is true in this world of illusion? What is real? What is authentic? What is reality? What is God? Those deep existential questions that orient you into the mystery of being. It is not necessarily satisfying if you get a quick and easy answer to these questions, from a book or a teacher; those deep questions that pull our attention into the mystery of being rather than trying to explain the mystery, and awaken our sense of wonder. Sometimes we are taught to be oriented in a way of thinking that conceals our wonder and all we have is anxious questions. What is going to happen? Is it all going to work out? All are a manifestation of anxiety. Deep questions are questions of wonder. They are looking for an experienced or a revelation, not simply an answer.” – Adyashanti, satsang at Asilomar, December 2016
In meditation and spiritual practice, we reach into ourselves for an experience to the mystery. For example, no answer or idea can fulfill you when you yearn for love. You aren’t satisfied with a theory on love. You want the experience of it.
I find now that I don’t run from the deep questions of life, the deep experience of being. I am more aware that deep experiences lead to resolutions of these questions within us, often wordlessly. We have a profound experience of being, a shift in our experience and perception of life.
Read the whole book, don’t skip the pages or devour them, and enjoy.