There’s No Google Map to Enlightenment: How to Find What You’re Seeking
I am trying to figure out what it is I am actually seeking in this room, on this mat, in this air.
Teacher has asked us to dedicate our practice to someone, or some thing that we want to know better…to something we are seeking.
Good question I say to myself as I fold into forward bend. What the hell am I doing here anyway?
Could the answer to that question be what it is I am seeking?
The sutras have me thinking that seeking is antithetical to finding. Not just from the logical point of view that once you FIND something you no longer need to seek it, but from a more philosophical point of view.
That is to say, seeking is a conscious act of the self — a willing quest to achieve consciousness as witness, consciousness freed from its psychophysiological structures and their temporal conditioning and meaning.
So if I find it here, does that mean I won’t need a car to get home, ’cause I can just kind of float there? Or better, will I be able to see and talk to the spirit world?
Pretty heady stuff as I stand in a yoga studio in midtown Manhattan wearing cute yoga clothes in 2018 while the girl beside me pretends that no one sees her iPhone under the top right corner of her mat which she peeks at every few minutes….
How do we know when we find it? (I will be honest and say I don’t think the iPhone woman is even looking for it, much less has already found it.)
But I am no better because honestly, I am afraid I don’t totally understand what IT is.
I mean IT’s not like looking for the car key..oh!!! here it is! seeking is now over …time to go shopping…found the answer…the truth…the object of my quest..got the KEY!
But when the object of one’s search is so abstract, it’s impossible to know how to even DEFINE IT.. let alone to know if you have FOUND it.
And there is the whole dilemma of even saying “I found it!”
Defining what finding means still has us locked into cosmic flux—that is living within the precepts of ordinary knowledge and perception (oh, look–that is a tree) which as Feurstein says keeps us “within the conditioned, world of human structure.”
And that is precisely NOT where enlightened consciousness hangs out.
How do we make our search our own and be willing to put ourselves into a state of unknowing, and uncertainty with open minds, open hearts–embracing the intention to receive that which we may not ever be able to articulate yet which we may most profoundly feel?
And so we ask again? At what point does SEEKING keep us from KNOWING? i.e. we get so wrapped up in seeking while feeling like we are miles and miles from any true transformation or destination that we miss the signs.
Unlike Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, where the signs are clear…Go back turn around!!! Danger you’re going the wrong way…!!!!
We have no external markers—no Google map to enlightenment.
We have only ourselves and our own inner sense of direction. And even if we don’t actually call it SEEKING, we have that which guides us to make this present moment a gift; to see the good in others, to be peaceful, joyful; to take another step toward illumination.
Have you found what you’re seeking (or figured out what it even is you’re seeking)? Share with us below!