Here is how most of us live life.
We set a goal for ourselves and then take appropriate action to reach that goal.
When things do not go our way, we work harder. We put our ‘nose to the grindstone’ and try to remember that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’
Our lives are full of struggle as we tot up our accomplishments.
This is just the nature of life, right?
Well, maybe not.
I am reading The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. Singer is the author of The Untethered Soul and I think so highly of it that it appears in the life-changing books section of the syllabus for my program.
Singer describes a phase in his life when he was so tired of his mental chatter that he was spending virtually all his time in deep meditation. His description of his life then is eerily similar to that of Ramana Maharshi when he first came to the temple at Tiruvannamalai and simply meditated in the cavernous rooms in the many-level temple basement.
He was in a doctoral program in economics at the University of Florida and had to take three exams. He registered to take the two that he was somewhat prepared for.
Somehow he got registered for all three and he had not done a stitch of work for his public finance exam.
He was tempted to withdraw, but was experimenting with surrendering to the universe rather than imposing his will on it.
He decided to take the exam and thought the failure that happened would help in his struggle to vanquish his ego.
On the day before the exam he picked up his main public finance textbook and read three sections at random.
He repeated this the next morning and left to take his exam fully expecting to fail and fully at peace with it because he was sure he would drop out of his Ph.D. to devote full time to his spiritual practice.
There were six questions on the exam and he was required to answer three. Three of the six dealt with the topics that he had briefly studied.
He received an A in the exam and even got a commendation from the dean on his exemplary performance.
Here is a really scary thought.
Do you really have to impose your will, with all of the pain it involves and the drama it creates, on the universe to make things happen the way YOU want them to?
Or can you learn to set aside your oh-so-strong preferences and let a greater wisdom guide you effortlessly through life?
Don’t rush to answer this question.
This is deep, so think about it and let the answer emerge.
Don’t force it.