I left off part 1 of this post shortly after I left Anamé Program. The freedom I experienced came from being rid of the feeling that I was incompetent in what I was doing – or that’s what I believed.
Anamé has a saying that to be human is a transitional form of existence. It is for growth and development and not for resting. Trying the latter can feel like lying down on the steps to have a nap. No, not comfortable.🙂
And yes, growth and development does have a pressure on us. The more you want to evolve and the more you want to make of your life, the bigger it’ll be. When I quit teaching, I temporarily felt this pressure lift off my shoulders. I believed that the lightness would linger, but it didn’t.
I don’t remember now how much time passed before a sense of uneasiness came. At first, it was like a puff of smoke in the air – I could make it with a wave of my hand. I only slowly, gradually realized where it came from. I wanted to be an instructor at Anamé Program again. I began to understand that it wasn’t simply a good and useful method that I admired, but it somehow was linked to the purpose of why I was born, with what task. Which is always a desire as well, deep in the heart. The purpose of our lives that we bring with us, that we are born with.
I understood that all those things that made me feel good, the ones that I did and those that I was only planning to do, were never going to make me happy or content.
What happened with that feeling of incompetence, then?
The ego works in sneaky ways. Once it’ll make you believe that you are more or better than others, while other times just the opposite: you’re unworthy and not enough.
The goal, however, is always the same: to keep you away from your true being, which is governed by divine force. And the ego is not fond of the idea of us being governed by anything else. So the struggle is inevitable.
The exercises of Karma Killer Yoga helped. It was extremely hard to go on with the practice, though. Many times during the courses, classes or retreats I was irritated, angry or depressed. But something I couldn’t explain didn’t let me give up. Sometimes cursing within, being angry with myself and the instructors, lying on the floor instead of following the exercises.
But still, they helped: they led me through dark places of my soul, cleaning, sweeping, blasting away many blocks that were holding me back from being my true self and living the life that I was supposed to live.
And through this inner fight the calling kept ripening in me. Until one day I told Anamé that I wanted to come back.
She didn’t say yes at first. Instead, she asked me lots of questions about my reasons. She also told me how everything has accelerated since I’d left. For a while I didn’t know if I was going to be accepted or not.
Then one day she asked me to meet her in a tea house and told me that I could come back, having completed some requirements necessary for teaching and after receiving an initiation from her. She gave me three days to think about it and make a decision.
To my surprise, her news didn’t only bring relief. Before I said yes I felt petrified: fear and uncertainty came upon me. I remember I even called my mom to ask her what I should do.🙂 It didn’t seem to be a true dilemma to her, but she was wise enough not to give me a straight – and, according to her, obvious – reply. She only reflected back to me all the things that I’d said about Anamé Program.
So the reply was yes, and it felt like homecoming. Did the pressure come back? Sure it did. But I did learn something important: I never again questioned my place at Anamé Program. I learned that questioning my place there has the same source as thinking that I’m too good or I see or know anything better than those around me. It’s the lack of trust and devotion to the divine will and wisdom.
Being on a spiritual path is never convenient. Great things, great achievements are not based on convenience. On the other hand, flow doesn’t come with convenience, either. So why is it so alluring to many of us?
The two forces
The force which drives you to grow, to develop is always accompanied by that which tries to hold you back. In that sense, the concept of convenience is a lot broader than sitting on the couch all day long.
Convenience is also holding on to something – a person, an idea, a situation – only because it’s known, it’s familiar. Because change is frightening. Convenience is also not giving your time and attention when it’s needed – to a task, to your kid or spouse, or a situation – because you already have enough on your plate (even though in most cases it is true: you do already have energy on your plate). Convenience is when you allow yourself to call that guy an idiot in the next car when he’s honking for no reason at all.
Being truly alive is not convenient. It is alert and present and conscious. That state of being has its own joy, its own happiness. If you think back on the greatest moments of your life, most likely they happened in a state of flow where you felt fully present. It’s unlikely that your memory would dig up a moment when you were sitting on the couch with a remote in your hand, looking at the TV screen absent-mindedly, switching between channels.
Why the two forces
The question seems to be fair: why do we need convenience, why do we need resistance? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if there was only the force to evolve which guides us?
We live in a dualistic world. Once in it, there’s no other way for us than to accept and respect its ways, and by doing so we may experience unity or the nature of oneness. A sportsman or a sportswoman may think of the negative force as laziness or doubt, a spiritual person would call it a block, an entrepreneur would say resistance, while a Christian would refer to it as Satan. We may concentrate on the differences of these points of view, but there are common points undoubtedly, and now I invite you to concentrate on those with an open mind, because they teach us about one of the most exciting questions of human experience. Here’s what the Britannica says about the role of Satan:
The word Satan is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word for “adversary” in the Bible. With the definite article, the Hebrew word denotes “the adversary” par excellence, mainly in the Book of Job, where the adversary comes to the heavenly court with the “sons of God.” His task is to roam the earth (like a contemporaneous Persian official) seeking out acts or persons to be reported adversely (to the king); his function thus is the opposite of that of the “eyes of the Lord,” which roam the earth strengthening all that is good. Satan is cynical about disinterested human goodness and is permitted to test it under God’s authority and control and within the limits that God sets.
Satan is permitted to test [disinterested human goodness] under God’s authority and control and within the limits that God sets.
Energy blocks have a role of testing the stability of a higher energy level, promoting true evolution. Overcoming resistance, laziness or doubt will make us stronger, more focused, strenuous, those qualities that’d hardly be born without the hardships of testing.
And why did I mention convenience here (or Satan and the role of testing)? Well, yes. It was the next big step in my life as a Karma Killer Yoga instructor, about a year after I returned.
Renunciation comes first
I almost dropped out.
Being on a spiritual path requires constant vigilance, eternal awareness. You can fall out of line from one day to another. And most of the time the signs are not as obvious as not sending a file by a deadline. That’s why, constant vigilance, eternal awareness is necessary even more so on the side of the spiritual teacher. And sure enough, Anamé told me and another instructor that we fell behind, compared to the others. As if we were fading. She said that our convenience was getting a central role, and that’s not the way to go.
And there it was, convenience. At first I didn’t get it. I’d always been the type of person who’d rather overdo her tasks than missing them. I was always effective, and could bear a high workload. What could be wrong, then? The interesting thing about such situations is that deep inside you also know that something is off. So I head jumped into some thorough self observation and I began to see what was happening with this convenience issue.
Teaching is a service, to put it in a simple and clear way. And what you serve must come first. And it’s a choice that you don’t make only once, that’s not enough. You do make it once – it’s important – and then you make it every day. Every day, every minute. I did make the choice once but didn’t remember thereafter to make it every day and every minute: when it came to my motivation or planning my days. These were all indications.
Eventually, all of us will reach a point in our lives where we have to decide what to serve, and there’s no escape, no smart way out. The Bible approaches this choice as one between two masters:
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
/New American Standard Bible/
And wealth doesn’t merely mean money, you may swap it for whatever that puts your ego and its desires at the center of your life. As for me, I woke up in the morning and didn’t ask what I could do for the world that day but how the tasks of the day could be easier, more comfortable for me. I was disconnected and thought that I knew how things should be: for others and for Anamé Program as well. As many times before, I sensed that turning back from that path will have something in store for me.
Story without an end
The inclination toward a lonely spiritual path and searching my own ways and comfort mapped out the road for me clearly.
In the Bible, in Matthew, a rich young man asks Jesus what actions bring eternal life. First, Jesus advises the man to obey the commandments. When the man responds that he already observes them, and asks what else he can do, Jesus adds:
If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
Luke has a similar episode and states that:
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
And if you interpret wealth as something that’s yours and you’re clinging to it – let it be material or in your mind only, like your self image, the question to be answered is how much you want that perfection, the “eternal life”? Are you ready to give up anything for it? How important is it?
Such questions you cannot reply to by words. Only by your deeds, your choices.
For me, it’s done by devotion. By pushing everyone else in front of myself on this road to perfection. By asking what I can do for them. This is how I’ll get to reach my highest self and fulfill what I was born for.
I am happy that I see progress because I know that that is holding who you truly are, gets to be born. And this transformation embodies wonders that you, and only you, are able to add to our world. I feel your every step that you make towards the light, because we are one. Let us stay connected!
As to the question of who you are, no teacher can answer you. If they try, the answer will be nothing more than a pile of dry words. Perhaps, you might not be aware of it, but every passing minute, you work on answering this question.
The true I is a masterpiece. It differs from the inflated personalities that the ego wears, because those dissolve after death, just like the body. Knowledge, practice and a noble state of the soul are indispensable to this masterpiece. But all this is not enough.
Poo-Tar gave me the key at the very beginning of my journey.
“And I tell you: you will grovel in hell’s filth, till you finally embrace it.”
And so it was. I had to descend to the hell of my current life, so that I could ennoble myself and be reborn as a Phoenix, so that I could find the key to heaven.
And as to whether what I have told you is true, you will feel that in your heart.
/Karma Killer by Anamé Valéria Balázs/
It’s funny how sometimes on the spiritual path the strongest resistance you have is towards the very thing that would save you. In my case: true devotion. For me it means to be devoted to service: to serve Jesus Christ in the spirit of unity through working for others and for our world.
For you it could be something else, but one thing is for sure: beyond our resistance what’s awaiting us is the greatest happiness. The happiness that’s not caused by things going your way (as circumstances may, and tend to change🙃), but by living your calling, your highest potential, the very reason why you came to this world. When you find and take your place in this huge puzzle. So however big the resistance seems to be (and yes, it tends to be bigger as you get closer to your goal or your higher self), just know that it’s worth persevering and working your way through it.
In the next post I’m planning to give you some easily applicable tips to deal with pressure and manage your energy and time on a higher energy level based on my own experiences and those of many others I’ve been working with during my years of being a Karma Killer Yoga instructor. Hope to see you there, too! 🙂