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Devote the mind to confusion and we know only too well, if we're honest, that it will become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions, subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it in meditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and we will find that, with time, patience, discipline, and the right training, our mind will begin to unknot itself and know its essential bliss and clarity.
I had the feeling that another kind of life — perhaps in a transcendental area — would give me a better possibility to influence, or to work, or to act within this contradiction. So, this was my general feeling: on the one side, this beautiful undamaged nature form which I took a lot and had a lot of possibilities for contemplation, meditation, research, collecting things, making a kind of system; and on the other side, this social debacle that I felt already as a coming dilemma.
[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells... there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
Happiness is always possible - the only thing that really holds you back is your mind. You have probably already noticed that the happiest times in your life are when you are not thinking. It's a wonderful thing to stand outside your ego, to surrender to the flow, and to participate fully in a hobby, in nature, in meditation, in prayer, in art, in dance, in sport, and in the moment.
And last are the few whose delight is in meditation and understanding; who yearn not for goods, nor for victory, but for knowledge; who leave both market and battlefield to lose themselves in the quiet clarity of secluded thought; whose will is a light rather than a fire, whose haven is not power but truth: these are the men of wisdom, who stand aside unused by the world.
We wouldn't attempt to meditate, or engage in any other contemplative practice, if we didn't feel that something about our experience needed to be improved. But here lies one of the central paradoxes of spiritual life, because this very feeling of dissatisfaction causes us to overlook the intrinsic freedom of consciousness in the present. As we have seen, there are good reasons to believe that adopting a practice like meditation can lead to positive changes in one's life. But the deepest goal of spirituality is freedom from the illusion of the self—and to seek such freedom, as though it were a future state to be attained through effort, is to reinforce the chains of one's apparent bondage in each moment.
The very minute we think we 'have' God, God will surprise us. As we search in fire and earthquakes, God will be in the still small voice. As we listen in silent meditation, God will be shouting protests in the street. God is warning us that we had best not try to find our security in any well-defined concept or category of what is Godly - for the minute we believe we are into God, God is off again and calling us forth into some unknown place.