Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 429 -
We Can Do This
Date: August 24, 2010
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: How did you know what you had to do with AYP when you had to do it? I
have so much that wants to express itself. So much hidden stuff (art, music,
teaching, etc.) coming out. But I don't feel like I have found my calling. I
am enjoying it all, but you are so driven and are so clear
on what you want to
share with the world, or rather, it seems so clear on how the divine wants
to express itself through you. I am not sure what
I want to do, not sure how the divine wants to express itself through me, or
of it wants to at all. I love how I am experiencing life now, as an observer
in stillness, laughing at the whole body/mind drama as it plays out, be it
my own or the rest of the world. Where does it go from here?
A: It is in all of us, you know the divine impulse that longs to express
itself. When we are surging with bhakti for union, it is that very divine
impulse expressing itself. We have our divine desire, but
we cannot know exactly where it will lead us.
When we act as stillness in action, it is a partnership between our
individual expression on this earth and the divine flow. From our side, it
is about keeping up daily practices, having an
intention, letting it go, and allowing our abilities to become a channel for
the divine. It is doing without doing. In stillness we are able to get out
of the way even in the midst of a lot of practical activity. Who is doing it
all? It is a mystery.
In terms of how AYP happened, well, you know, one thing leads to the next,
but not necessarily how and when we think. I did not know how it would
happen. There has been a desire all along. When doors appeared, I did my
best to walk through.
I can remember when in my mid-30s, with about 10 years of meditation under
the belt, thinking, someday I will write a book about "the journey." I was
supporting a growing family and deep into my own practices (R&D) during
those years, and writing a book was not in the cards. I was not ready. It
wasn't until my mid-50s that it became feasible, with accumulated spiritual
experience, plus practical skills from the career, and the ability to pay
the bills for a few years while writing. That is
when the "Secrets of Wilder"
novel was written. But no one was interested in
publishing it. Meanwhile, the novel inspired me to continue
writing and start putting practical instructional
lessons on practices on
the internet the beginning of AYP. Then internet-based publishing came
into being, and the AYP books started appearing. One thing kept leading to
another, and it has been like that the whole way through. The intention has
been there in stillness all the while, but what came next has always been
In that sense, the whole AYP phenomenon is one big happy accident. Or is it?
In the beginning, and in the end, it boils down to our seed desires, and our
willingness to take next steps when they appear. AYP was always in me (since
early childhood, like with John Wilder in the
novel), but it took time and circumstances (not to mention elbow grease) for
it to manifest. Honestly, it turned out to be a much bigger project than
anticipated. It was never in the plan to do what has been done. One step
kept leading to the next (divine flow).
It is the same with you and everyone. If you remain open to next steps in
line with your seed desires, they will reveal themselves sooner or later. If
you don't know what your seed desires are, just keep it gently in samyama
(releasing intentions in stillness), as I know you
are. In time, doors will open. Then it is up to you to walk through. It is
like that for all of us.
As Rumi said, "Keep walking, though there
is no place to get to..."
Whatever is to happen will happen. We all have much to give. With
effective daily practices, it happens much more
than it would otherwise. There is no doubt about that.
It should be added that seed desires are best coupled with our natural
gifts/talents (we all have them), plus practical skills developed in this
life, and a lot of stick-to-it-ness. Seed desires alone are not enough.
Gifts alone are not enough. Developed skills alone are not enough. And
stick-to-it-ness alone is not enough. By itself, no one of these qualities
is enough. Put them all together, with good doses of common sense and
patience, and miracles can happen. But it starts with our seed desires. We
are born with those. Inner silence and samyama will support the rest.
We live in a time when many around the world are
in a position to impact global consciousness in ways that were not possible
even a few decades ago. When millions are
empowered with effective self-directed spiritual
practices, and have free access to worldwide
communications (seen and unseen), anything can happen.
On the practical level, we are seeing more and more people coming together
in spiritual networks, meditation groups, teaching of practices, powerful
stillness-radiating retreats, and expanding
research on the process of human spiritual transformation. These are direct
manifestations of individual daily practice and the
resulting stillness in action. It is no longer primarily up to the
gurus, though their blessings are still much needed. But now it is ordinary
people who are picking up the torch in every country and region of the
world. A worldwide web of awakening has formed,
and it is becoming stronger every year (see
Yes, we can do this, for ourselves, and for everyone.
The guru is in you.
For detailed instructions on
building and maintaining a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book.