A few years ago, I took a 10-day Vipassana course. At the end of the retreat, I have noticed a surprising strange phenomenon: Some "hardcore" senior Vipassana meditators which evidently seemed during the retreat as truly advanced, as soon as the official retreat ended and thus talking started, they happened to switch immediately to unconscious behavior with their egos inflated to monstrous propositions. I was puzzled by the acute contradiction. Later, I realized that our tricky mind uses our formal definitions of spiritual and non-spiritual to gain back control as soon as we exit the perceived spiritual context.
Non-spiritual Spirituality means that spiritual sadhana (practice) is not (and should not be) limited to official spiritual places or events such as ashrams, satsangs, temples, retreats and so on.
As a matter of fact, contexts and situations which are non-spiritual by definition provide many times a more challenging and productive environment for true spiritual work and awareness. Official spiritual locations are many times designed to be artificially sterile and isolated and thus can provide a very limited spectrum of situations that instigate conflicts and subsequently trigger old reaction patterns, conditioning, questions and deep doubts which we can observe in real time and thus are so essential כםר our spiritual process.
Mighty God is not confined to the temple so why should we?
Confining our spiritual practice and thus awareness to official spiritual situations only we therefore commit a three-fold misfortunate error:
First, we miss the rich supply of opportunities for spiritual lessons that the outer ordinary world provides.
Second, we maintain by this confinement a terrible basic unconscious ignorant view according to which "god is confined to the temple". This view, unnoticeably, reflects on our overall understanding of reality.
Third and worst of all, by limiting our spirituality to certain spiritual places we let ourselves sink into ignorant unconsciousness as soon as we leave the spiritual place, saying "I did enough for today" or "no need for any special spiritual effort of awareness where there is no spirituality". Then immediately our mind is getting back happily into control with its automatic old reaction patterns and conditioning, potentially rewinding any progress we may have just realized. This was the misfortunate case with the senior Vipassna meditators I mentioned in the beginning. It takes a lot of experience and earnestness not to fall into this pitfall of the mind.
My next blog posts will discuss "Spiritual Non-Spirituality" and "Spiritless Spirituality". You can speculate what they will be all about.