It has come to my attention that our Sangha focus for the year, “The Cooperative of Practice: Being Lit Up Together” may be causing some confusion and potential suffering.
As we well know, egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate will use anything and everything to maintain its control over a person’s attention. So, we can’t be too surprised that conditioned mind has come up with a way to attempt to snag our current practice focus and turn it for its benefit.
I suppose there are lots of ways “Cooperative of Practice” and “Lit Up Together” could be turned into “maintaining the illusion of a separate self,” but here’s the one I’ve been hearing about.
People are getting talked into believing that “having the fun of being in the present” and “being lit up with what you’re doing” means to go out and buy and do all the things you’ve always wanted to have and do. The result is that people are too “spent,” in every sense of the word, to be able to participate in practice. “I’m cancelling the retreat I signed up for because I’m going to a writing workshop.” “I can’t make it to sitting group for a while because I have a belly-dancing class that night.” “I need to stop my monthly financial support of practice because I’m going on an expensive trip.”
That’s really NOT what we’re going for in “Being Lit Up Together.” That’s not even what we’re going for in being lit up!
The lit up we’re talking about—and the only authentic lit up there is—comes from being in Life in the moment. It doesn’t come from the ego getting something it claims to want. Yes, there can be excitement and great fun in “getting something new and shiny for me,” and we all know how quickly that passes into remorse or disappointment or a focus on the next new and shiny ego wants to consume and turn into dissatisfaction.
Now, let us be perfectly clear: I am not saying a person shouldn’t go to writing workshops or learn to belly-dance or go on grand trips. Not at all. What I am saying is that if we do ANYTHING instead of practice it will end in disappointment and dissatisfaction. Why? Because everything that comes from and is done for ego-I must inevitably end in disappointment and dissatisfaction. That’s just how it is.
So please don’t be confused about this and don’t get bamboozled. First and foremost, you must devote yourself to what satisfies your heart/mind. You must be with Life. When that’s the case, with Life guiding your choices and decisions, you will never be disappointed or dissatisfied. That’s just how it is.