The motivation to embark on a spiritual path comes from the uncompromising experience of dissatisfaction. Plodding along day after day we might suddenly realize that we've been on a plateau without having experienced anything new, fresh, eventful, or uplifting for a very long time. There’s no longer a song in our heart, yet we feel compelled to keep the beat going, dutifully walking the tried and true way of many yesterdays, until one day when we can no longer postpone the urgent need to cut the rope and be free.
The spiritual passage begins with questioning some of our cherished assumptions about who we are and whether the life we have chosen for ourselves has been a conscious choice. By considering these questions we retreat from the world into our own depths where great challenges wait for us. It is here in this invisible domain that we communicate with our inner being to know the real longing of our heart. We become more sensitive to our feelings of limitation, our unmet longing, but also our defensive numbness and insensitivity that protects us from the pain of dissatisfaction.
Yet, here in our interior world we have the opportunity to re-claim a brilliant energy that can fertilize our lives. This timeless life force circulates throughout all of existence, and although it has never been lost, paradoxically, we must search for it in order to discover this forgotten dimension of ourselves.
There are continual openings when we finish one activity and before we're about to leap into the next, before we check our email or voicemail or before we make the next phone call—when we could take a seat in the neutral space of nowness. To open our senses and appreciate the living moments of walking aimlessly through our city or town, as we take notice of the storefront window decorations, nod to the passersby who return a smile, and taking a seat in the neighborhood park, we find delight before the stone lions as pigeons perch on their heads.
When we allow these open moments where we don't feel compelled to shape our experience, we have the possibility of enjoyment and freedom. This is how we wear out samsara. When we do land in the experience of nowness, it can be a delicious moment of peacefulness and absence of struggle. Egolessness is the experience of what lies on the other side of our known life, the life that we’ve mapped out with our beliefs, assumptions, expectations and our social roles. It points to the deeper, far-reaching dimension of what a human being is, on all levels—-somatically, intellectually, emotionally, artistically, creatively. When we’re wholehearted in our love, our passion, in our creative expression, and even in our grief, when we give in totally to this moment without the impulse to be elsewhere, then we are present in our totality. This is a taste of egolessness. What will happen next is unknown. This is the call to adventure.