Awareness of the trappings of mundane existence can facilitate one’s elevation into a more spiritually balanced journey. We are all birthed into the duality of life: heaven and earth, spirit and matter. Yet many find it easier to give into the matter aspects of being, to slough through life. It seems that the spiritual path is just a bit too difficult, it entails shedding familiarities while working to acquire any benefits. Elevating beyond the mundane is a goal that can, with persistence, be achieved.
Awareness: concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development. Mundane: of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one. In defining these two words, I am setting the tone for my discussion. Generally, people are not aware of their mundane existence. Day to day, activities proceed in a repetitive manner, without thought. Multitudinous distractions help to facilitate this repetitious cycle. This trend is arrested when an awareness of the situation takers place. Seeing the mundane for what it is can bring about a seeking, a longing to elevate one’s self to, a more spiritual alignment.
To seek the spiritual path involves a sense of self within the mundane. It engenders a restitution of the higher spiritual nature that exists within everyone. However, humankind is conceived into a duality. The nature of which sets one up against themselves. Heaven – earth, parusha – prakriti . . . . the struggle is to realize the importance of each to the other. To not overly gravitate toward one at the expense of the other but to, eventually, ultimately bring the two into a harmonious co-existence. To bring about achieving the Coincidentia Oppositorum.
However, many persist in living the mundane existence. It is as if one finds it easier to deal with the ordinarity of daily life, as such, as opposed to steering one’s-self into more elevated realms of thought and action. The everyday repetitiveness is taken at face value when familiarity is accepted as being all-encompassing, all that there is, all that can be. On an energetic level, when atoms go from a ground state to an exited state requires input of energy. The atomic ground state means that things are stuck, not moving, static.
For instance, I clean my room once a week (yay for me). Part of my responsibilities is to move my meditation alter. On my alter, I have a ‘Yoga Joe’ perfectly balanced in handstand. Now yoga Joe stays balanced when I ground myself, lift the alter and place it down gently. However, Yoga Joe always falls over when I slide / drag the alter across the floor. Dragging across the floor is like sloughing through the mundane. When humans put in the energetic work, they can be elevated to a higher, balanced consciousness. It is akin to the excited and ground states of atoms. Energy lifts the atoms to a higher state.
“When our life is based on respect and complete trust, it will be completely peaceful. Our relationship with nature should also be like this. We should respect everything. And we can practice respecting things in the way that we relate to them.
This morning when we were bowing in the zendo, we heard a big noise overhead because upstairs in the dining room people were pushing chairs across the tile floor without picking them up. This is not the way we treat chairs, not only because it may disturb the people the people who are bowing in the zendo underneath but also because fundamentally this is not a respectful way to treat things.
To push a chair across the floor is very convenient but it will give us a lazy feeling. Of course, this kind of laziness is part of our culture, and it eventually causes us to fight with each other. Instead of respecting things we want to use them for ourselves, and if it is difficult to use them, we want to conquer them. This type of idea does not accord with the spirit of practice . . . . .
When we pick up the chairs one by one carefully without making much noise, then we will have the feeling of practice. We will not make much noise of course, but also the feeling is quite different. When we practice this way, we ourselves are Buddha and we respect ourselves. To care for the chairs means our practice goes beyond the zendo.” 1
The work is challenging. To elevate consciousness to a higher spiritual level requires that much inner work be done. We must, in effect, save ourselves. One step at a time. One breath at a time. The goal to be reach does not really exist in that the levels do not end. The work is that of always becoming. Many shy away from it because the results are privy to the five base senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing) on the mundane planes. Results are along the spiritual lines they must be perceived. The ability to perceive must be developed through practice. Meditation, (the eight paths of) yoga, Taiji / Bagua / HsingYi, dance, art work, spiritual walking . . . anything that can go beyond the mundane can aid in elevating consciousness.
Ground to the earth to spiritually elevate the Self . . .
Do the work . . . . .
- Suzuki, Shunryu, Not Always So, (Harper One, 2003) Pg 81