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David Spero speaks some common sense about living a life of surrender or self-inquiry in the company of one who functions as a guru.
Question and answer with David Spero (http://www.davidspero.org)
Questioner: Various sources recommend rolling the eyes upward during meditation, to look toward the third eye. But you have never mentioned it, and I find it uncomfortable. Do you have any opinion on the topic of rolling the eyes upward?
David Spero: I suggest not cultivating this experience through any form of deliberate effort. Anything attained in the field of meditation through effort only strengthens the feeling of separateness. Rolling the eyes up into the head is neither a precondition, nor the result of, full awakening. It may or may not happen. Enlightenment is a Gift, not an attainment.
Questioner: There seems to be a tension between the ideas of natural, peaceful, spontaneous awakening, versus something that requires intense and prolonged effort, deep desire, worthiness and grace. Which is it?
David Spero: "Intense and prolonged effort" and "deep desire" and "worthiness" and "grace" are distinctly different ideas. Deep desire for awakening is what invites it to manifest, but that does not imply that one must also use intense or prolonged effort. When Ramana Maharishi left home as a young boy to pursue a life of meditation he was filled with a deep desire to experience the Self. This desire did not interfere with his Realization. On the contrary, it helped to accomplish It.
The sense of worthiness arises as one discards conditioned notions of unworthiness, which were put in place by outside sources. One is inherently worthy of Realization by virtue of his or her human birth.
Grace is the very life of the Spiritual Master and His Grace is given to all without distinction or qualification.
Questioner: Are there any burdens or responsibilities involved? Any do's and don'ts? Mostly you suggest that folks just continue down their paths....
David Spero: No burden is too big for Grace to remove and no responsibilities come with realization of the Self. How could responsibilities come from an unearned Gift? The Self, which is the essence of everything, cannot expect or demand anything from anyone. Grace is the Sun of the Self and it shines everywhere. Everyone, everything, blossoms under Its radiance.
Regarding morality, just use common sense. Do what you know to be right and don't do what you know to be wrong. Follow your natural, inborn intelligence. There are "holy books" that advocate murder, bigotry, slavery, misogyny and violent (human) dominion over the natural world in the name of God, so the best place to look for moral guidance is within, from the Self directly.
Questioner: Can you say something about your spiritual efforts that required decades of hard work, faith, and sacrifice, whereas it's happening very easily for all of us? Can we regard our progress (such as it is) as the outcome of your manifesting power?
David Spero: I never "sacrificed" or performed "decades of hard work, faith and sacrifice" during my extended sadhana. Something gripped my whole being to realize God and I explored that impulse sincerely through meditation and other spiritual practices. My sadhana was performed instinctually and passionately, like an animal in the wild.
Your spiritual progress may be attributed to the Grace of the Spiritual Master or to the Self. One chooses the interpretation that feels best. Devotional aspirants will want to offer all credit to the embodied Master and those drawn to discrimination pay homage to the Self. The Self and the Spiritual Master are one. The point is to offer all credit to That which you adore with every fiber of your being or to That which transcends the mind. It's your "choice." Just do what comes naturally.
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