A healthy lifestyle, simple and contained, is our source of energy. From this foundation we can generate vitality and drive for our search.
Setting the House in Order: our immediate physical environment needs to be conducive to our search. This means we must find some economic security as part of our foundation. The body/mind must be kept healthy so that it can think clearly, efficiently, and reliably. The domestic enviroment must also be adjusted so that the people with whom we live will be amenable to the search. A supportive environment, inside and out, will give us the calm and freedom to direct our energies upward. We must plan for security and tranquility.
While money is not the goal of our quest, we must be comfortable. A roof over our heads, a quiet place to meditate, food to eat, and the ability to travel to meet our fellows is all dependent on having a stable financial discipline.
Our home is truly our castle. Through it we have security and tranquility. We must have a quiet place where we can study, undisturbed by friend or foe. Though this might change in location or character, it should never be a source of unreasonable conflict or strife in our life.
Exercise: the foundation for energy and relaxation.
Keeping the body in good shape keeps us alert, relaxed, and generates the energy we need for higher thinking.
As we exercise and generate energy, we make it available for transmutation. By developing good habits, we can keep from losing the same energy through dissipation, waste and worry. Many know the feeling of nervous tension simply melting away during a good work out. If you haven't yet developed an exercise routine, just a walk around the block every evening is a good start. It's also a great time to think. Next time you're out for a hike or walk, try reading something spiritual beforehand, and then let the thoughts come back as you move along.
"To transmute neural energy into mental energy you must not dream, or sit quietly, but should even walk, if walking keeps the attention on the subject." -Richard Rose-
"Your level of health, right this moment, is a direct result of the choices you have made regarding the foods you select, the exercise you get, the thoughts you think, what you believe to be true, and what you think you can expect... You are the product of how you choose to live your life."
-- message on health club wall--
Richard Rose on the consequences of not exercising:
"First your energy level drops, then you become depressed, then you develop hemmorhoids, then you start drinking..."
To build a reservoir of energy for our quest, we need to conserve vitality. We cannot expect to propel ourselves into a higher state without a surplus of fuel. The best way to get more energy is to better utilize that which we may currently be wasting. Two main drains of our precious vitality are through negative emotions, and lack of knowledge of the benefits of abstinence.
Negative Emotions: Gurdjieef and Ouspensky used to remark that negative emotions made the world go round. I couldn't agree more. Ridding ourselves of these wastes of vitality is a lengthy and continous process, but well worth it. The chief thing to remember is that getting rid of negative emotion does not mean merely putting on a mask of niceness while inside we rant and rave. It means ceasing to identify with the emotion, and separating fom it when its cause has gone.
To act with emotion in the moment is much different than to be constantly in a negative emotional state. It is the latter state we must strive to abandon. The following zen story illustrates the difference:
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection. "Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her into his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself.
"We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
Abstinence: the art of celibacy. Nearly all religions have advocated abstinence as a way to conserve energy, a means of protection, and to promote intuition. This is just as important now as ever. Celibacy can work wonders for a serious seeker, giving a joy and clarity not seen since childhood. To avoid mistakes and misunderstandings, individual advice should be sought from someone who has personal experience in extended periods of abstinence.
"Sex is an acquired habit. Go beyond. As long as your focus is on the body, you will remain in the clutches of food and sex, fear and death. Find yourself and be free." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj -
" Sexuality, if it is left to itself, as it is in the case of other species, other forms of life, is merely a biological need, because the living organism has this object to survive and produce one like itself. Anything you superimpose on that is totally unrelated to the living organism. But we have turned that, what you call sexual activity, which is biological in its nature, into a pleasure movement. - U.G. Krishnamurti
The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, from Think and Grow Rich: "The emotion of sex brings into being a state of mind. Because of ignorance on the subject, this state of mind is generally associated with the physical, and because of improper influences, to which most people have been subjected, in acquiring knowledge of sex, things essentially physical have highly biased the mind. Sex transmutation is simple and easily explained. It means the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression, to thoughts of some other nature." - Napoleon Hill
Celibacy, How and Why It Works: "No one seems to be able to properly explain what's wrong with too much of sexual activity. Religions invoke the wrath of God and the punishment of God to force us into self-control. Prudes force us to think anything is wrong that results in pleasure. The real reason for self control is quite obvious if you are sensitive enough to perceive changes in the quality of your mind. This article describes why it is good to practice celibacy, whether for a short, or long period of time." http://www.wikihow.com/Practice-Celibacy
This booklet examines celibacy as a practical discipline for those on a spiritual search, and surveys a number of ordinary men and women to discover the benefits they derive and their advice to others.
Discover how celibacy affects intuition and energy, how it reveals the habits of our mind, and is a natural state for anyone involved in intense effort.
Hear from those currently practicing, former practitioners, and those who have struggled mightily with what Gandhi called "the highest goal."
Copyright 2003 - 2009 Robert Fergeson. All Rights Reserved