The Power of Absolute Honesty in Spiritual Growth

We all know the value of meditation, yoga and self-study in one’s spiritual  growth, but, we often overlook some of the other more ordinary disciplines that  can prove to be equally valuable in this profound journey. Of these many  disciplines that are helpful to your spiritual evolution, the power of honesty  should not be underestimated.

Honesty is certainly a good value to  cultivate and have. No doubt about that, but, in the context of your progress on  the spiritual path, the real significance of honesty starts to shine through.  Here are the 4 key reasons why honesty can be your best friend on the road to enlightenment.

tree-of-life-intuitive_mind1. Face Your  Weaknesses:

We all have weaknesses and short comings. No one is exempt  from this reality. If you are born and going about existence, then you have some  aspects that need work. Honesty is going to make sure you face up to these  weaknesses, so that you can take the necessary steps to overcome them.

Spiritual work can often be derailed by your shortcomings. The diseases of  procrastination, laziness, narrow mindedness, etc., can all easily disrupt and  hinder your spiritual growth. The first step in combating these conditions, is  to be honest enough to admit you are afflicted by them. Only then does it become  possible to try to change.

2. Face Reality:

How is your life  really? Not the image you so badly want to present to others, but the actual  state of your life and relationships? You see, if all was great and we were full  of bliss, love and wisdom, there would be no need for any evolution. Only facing  up to the sorry state of affairs honestly, awakens one to the great need for  transformation. Without this courage to see how messy things are, no clean up  would be initiated. Honesty is the instrument to help us look at this naked  truth.

3. Drop False  Personalities:

Now we are starting to get into the deeper layers of how  honesty actually helps us gather our energies, so that they may be applied  towards our greater destiny.

If you watch your ego in action carefully,  you will notice that you spend enormous amounts of energy building and  sustaining false images of yourself. Prior to engaging in a discussion, you will  see yourself often rehearse the dialogue mentally, to make sure you represent  yourself in a particular way, regardless of whether that is really you or not.  In similar fashion, past events you will see yourself rehash, to feel secure about how you were portrayed, and finally, you will  constantly catch yourself trying to manipulate reality in the present so that  you are perceived in a particular way. All this image oriented thinking is a  colossal waste of time and energy.

The answer to preventing all this  waste of energy is simple, just be  absolutely honest. You are done then. You will speak as will speak, you have  spoken as you have spoken and you are behaving just exactly how your are. Just  be sincere and forthright.

Don’t underestimate what has just been  conveyed. If you spend some time just watching yourself go through the day, you  will be amazed how dishonest you really are. Instead, as mentioned, just be  yourself exactly. Don’t, for the sake of impression, put up any false face. Once  you realize and implement this simple point, you will be blessed with great  freedom.

4. Honesty In Meditation:

Finally, we come to the role  that honesty plays in your actual meditation practice itself. When you sit down  to meditate, and start to watch your thoughts, you will realize how deceptive  the mind is. The false reasons and justifications that the mind creates are alarming. To stop it from continuing it’s  mischief, you will have to decide to be absolutely and completely honest and  forthright. Without this attitude of honesty, you will not be able to make much  progress in self-study, which is the key to spiritual growth and finally  enlightenment.

Summary:

The need for honesty and sincerity cannot  be over-emphasized. In the early stages it is recommended, to break the habit of  unconscious lying and self-deception, that even white lies and diplomacy ought  to be abandoned and complete forthrightness be embraced. Once accomplished,  simple honesty will go a long way to helping you evolve to your highest  spiritual potential.

Anmol  Mehta –    About the Author:

Anmol Mehta is a Yoga, Meditation & Zen Expert. His site, Free Beginner Meditation  Techniques & Kundalini Yoga Video Instruction, offers 4 Key Laws for Manifesting Desires. Find lively discussions  on the Free Guided Meditation  Practice, Kundalini Yoga Instruction & Insight Meditation Blog.

 

Thoughts for the day

My actions are my only true belongings.  I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.  My actions are the ground upon which I stand.  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.  ~ Tryon Edwards

Whatever we do lays a seed in our deepest consciousness, and one day that seed will grow.  ~ Sakyong Mipham

Ego – The False Centre

The ego is not individual. Ego is a social phenomenon - it is society, its not you. But it gives you a function in the society, a hierarchy in the society.

Ego – The False Centre

The ego is not individual. Ego is a social phenomenon – it is society, its not you. But it gives you a function in the society, a hierarchy in the society. And if you remain satisfied with it, you will miss the whole opportunity of finding the self.

And that’s why you are so miserable.

With a plastic life, how can you be happy?

With a false life, how can you be ecstatic and blissful? And then this ego creates many miseries, millions of them.

You cannot see, because it is your own darkness. You are attuned to it.

Have you ever noticed that all types of miseries enter through the ego? It cannot make you blissful; it can only make you miserable.

Ego is hell.

Whenever you suffer, just try to watch and analyze, and you will find, somewhere the ego is the cause of it. And the ego goes on finding causes to suffer.

You are an egoist, as everyone is. Some are very gross, just on the surface, and they are not so difficult. Some are very subtle, deep down, and they are the real problems.

This ego comes continuously in conflict with others because every ego is so unconfident about itself. Is has to be – it is a false thing. When you don’t have anything in your hand and you just think that something is there, then there will be a problem.

If somebody says, “There is nothing,” immediately the fight will start, because you also feel that there is nothing. The other makes you aware of the fact.

Ego is false, it is nothing.

That you also know.

How can you miss knowing it? It is impossible! A conscious being – how can he miss knowing that this ego is just false? And then others say that there is nothing – and whenever the others say that there is nothing they hit a wound, they say a truth – and nothing hits like the truth.

You have to defend, because if you don’t defend, if you don’t become defensive, then where will you be?

You will be lost.

The identity will be broken.

So you have to defend and fight – that is the clash.

A man who attains to the self is never in any clash. Others may come and clash with him, but he is never in clash with anybody.

It happened that one Zen master was passing through a street. A man came running and hit him hard. The master fell down. Then he got up and started to walk in the same direction in which he was going before, not even looking back.

A disciple was with the master. He was simply shocked. He said, “Who is this man? What is this? If one lives in such a way, then anybody can come and kill you. And you have not even looked at that person, who he is, and why he did it.” The master said, “That is his problem, not mine.”

You can clash with an enlightened man, but that is your problem, not his. And if you are hurt in that clash, that too is your own problem. He cannot hurt you. And it is like knocking against a wall – you will be hurt, but the wall has not hurt you.

The ego is always looking for some trouble. Why? Because if nobody pays attention to you, the ego feels hungry. It lives on attention.

So even if somebody is fighting and angry with you, that too is good because at least the attention is paid. If somebody loves, it is okay. If somebody is not loving you, then even anger will be good. At least the attention will come to you. But if nobody is paying any attention to you, nobody thinks that you are somebody important, significant, then how will you feed your ego?

Other’s attention is needed.

In millions of ways you attract the attention of others; you dress in a certain way, you try to look beautiful, you behave, you become very polite, you change. When you feel what type of situation is there, you immediately change so that people pay attention to you.

This is a deep begging.

A real beggar is one who asks for and demands attention. And a real emperor is one who lives in himself; he has a center of his own, he doesn’t depend on anybody else.

Buddha sitting under his bodhi tree…if the whole world suddenly disappears, will it make any difference to Buddha? – none. It will not make any difference at all. If the whole world disappears, it will not make any difference because he has attained to the centre.

But you, if the wife escapes, divorces you, goes to somebody else, you are completely shattered – because she had been paying attention to you, caring, loving, moving around you, helping you to feel that you were somebody. Your whole empire is lost, you are simply shattered. You start thinking about suicide. Why? Why, if a wife leaves you, should you commit suicide? Why, if a husband leaves you, should you commit suicide? Because you don’t have any center of your own. The wife was giving you the center; the husband was giving you the center.

This is how people exist. This is how people become dependent on others. It is a deep slavery. Ego HAS to be a slave. It depends on others. And only a person who has no ego is for the first time a master; he is no longer a slave. Try to understand this.

And start looking for the ego – not in others, that is not your business, but in yourself. Whenever you feel miserable, immediately close you eyes and try to find out from where the misery is coming and you will always find it is the false center which has clashed with someone.

From Beyond the Frontier of the Mind by Osho