Releasing Attachment to Ritual and Practice
One of the early stages on the inner journey is seeing that we are lost in the fogs of society’s directives and the ego’s fear based vanities. We start to feel as if everything we once knew for sure is wrong and that a new set of truths and values have to be discovered and developed. As we explore these many possibilities for action we usually have to let go of our need for approval from family and friends, those supports we used to take for granted when we played by the rules no-one talked about.
Some quit careers, some spouses, some children, some religions, some gender, some countries of origin. Many wander, seemingly aimlessly, looking for they know not what but sensing they will recognise it when it appears. Some are lost and would like to be found, others are lost and loving it, others deliberately lose themselves so as not to be found. Some find themselves in self-destructive lifestyles, escaping at the last minute, others fast track themselves into auto-destruct and quickly succeed, re-emerging at their memorial services somewhat bemused and hardly caring what, if anything, comes next. Some seek the quietude of the monastery or temple and over the years of selfless service, begin to see the real self shining through the illusions that were firmly planted shortly after birth. Some fall for the charismatic leader, who with their fanatical devotees, slowly strip the individual of all dignity and self-respect until psychic slavery or sudden escape are the only two options.
Some of course, stay home and satisfy themselves with a spiritual practice of some kind, – exercise, yoga, meditation – which can be combined with their responsibilities to society and family. In the unfolding of their practice over the years some level of stability and spiritual understanding comes to the fore, allowing them to radiate some of the benefits to others and see the truths of compassion and charity.
At some point it is realised that their daily practice, whatever form it takes, has become an attachment, not unlike those to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling and the status games of success. Whether they relinquish that attachment to float free of self-conscious spirituality or just consider the possibility, it is a stage on the inner journey that comes to all. Carrying the understanding and harmony of meditative practice about the life you have chosen without the crutch of those calm hours to support you is the next step on the journey that seemingly has no end. We all reach it when we are ready and these thoughts do not imply any type of timeline or schedule.