I am not trying to rile my Buddhist brothers and sisters, but I am okay if I do. I may be quoting some teachings from Jesus, but I am not trying to rile my Christian brothers and sisters, but it’s okay if they get riled by this. And just to make sure I don’t leave anyone out, I may take some loving jabs at modern yoga practitioners too, again not to rile – but if you are riled, it’s really really okay with me.
I’ve been teaching now for more than 25 years, and I am not saying that to boast, quite the opposite. I’m saying this because even after 30 years of practice and 25 years of teaching, I still really don’t get it. Not really. I really don’t get what it takes to help people make and sustain deep change in their being. I think I have a pretty good record as it goes. I think my work is very effective. Still, it’s a mystery to me. How can we have so many thousands of years of Bible study, and enlightened masters and practices and teachings and still be such a lost, miserable lot? How can we have so many people doing so many yoga classes and online meditations and still be in such a rut of stuckness and lack of deep fulfillment?
I would love to tell you that if you just followed MY TEACHINGS or did MY TRAININGS you’d fare better. But I don’t think you would necessarily. It doesn’t seem to be so much WHAT you do or WITH WHOM. But there is one big key that seems to make the difference when it comes to spiritual development. It’s about being hardcore.
It’s a funny word, I know – hardcore. Because one of the keys to the deep mystical work is actually getting your energetic core to be less hard, soft enough to feel the presence of Spirit. Here we mean hardcore int he sense of being full-on, radical. Like hardcore music from the 80s with howling feedback, driving fast beats, and young disgruntled youth screaming defiant lyrics.
Being hardcore in the spiritual sense isn’t about being practicing a lot. But it have something to do with practice. It isn’t about having fanatical beliefs or being crazy about them, but it does have something to do with being WILLING to be crazy and think and be in a way that others might think is crazy. Mostly, it’s about letting go of the idea of moderation when it comes to God.
If our obstacles were moderate, it would be different. If the internet was moderate, if your self-hatred were moderate, if the effects of your family’s conditioning were moderate it would be different. Then you could walk a middle path and “not go overboard”. But that’s just it.
WE NEED TO GO OVERBOARD.
We are on a boat that is bound for mediocrity in the best case scenario. In many cases, we are on a boat bound for living hell. I mean, come on – consider it! What kind of transformation do you need to really realize your dreams of human magnificence? A little bit? A little lifestyle tweak? Some more new ideas?
We need to be born again. We need to step into a new life. We need to go overboard, out of the boat of conditioning and mediocrity and plunge into the ocean of real living. Yes we will have to learn how to swim. Yes we will be out of our comfort zone. But that’s where all the good stuff is.
The only people I’ve know who have attained deep attainments on the spiritual path: Spiritual awakening, Long term quality sobriety, deep healing from trauma, profound effective lives of service, enlightenment have been hardcore. Their path, their process, their sadhana is the center of their life. Like the high church steeple in the center of the village, their spirituality is the center, is the gathering point and highest point and principle in their life.
But how you do you that without joining a cult or converting to an all-or-nothing fanatical religion? That’s the question and that is MY obsession is to figure out how to offer that to people. This is what I mean when I say I don’t know shit. If I “knew shit” about being a spiritual teacher I would know how to offer the hardcore “narrow path” to everyone. But, as Christ said,
Many are called but few are chosen.
It’s not saying that there is ANYONE ELSE who is choosing or rejecting anyone. What this teaching means is that we are all invited but few of us actually accept the invitation. What I’m saying is that what it takes to accept the invitation isn’t just about saying yes to the invitation to go to a retreat or a class or a training. The saying yes to the invitation is to really be willing to go overboard.
What might that look like to you?
I’d love to hear.