Don’t constantly espouse the virtues of the good man

To stop talking about what the good man is like, and just be one.

Marcus Aurelius

Stop talking and just do.

Don’t speak of how well your meditation is going, just meditate.

Stop talking of what you’ve recently discovered in your writing, and just write.

Don’t constantly espouse the virtues of a good man — we all know them. It’s much harder to show the virtues of a good man than to speak them.

Pertaining to spiritual studies; in Eastern philosophy, there is the concept of the mind, the ego, the outer self. And swiftly following, the True Self, the Presence, and the inner self.

The mind is your thinking self. A voice in your head that comments, judges, and remarks. It is your ego, and it says, “I’m eighteen, I played soccer, I’m a badass // loser // athlete // dork, and in a month I’ll leave for Thailand.”

And that mind-self blankets and obscures your True Self. If you want to run a little experiment to feel this True Self — believe me, you have already; it’s impossible to not have — then try this: Ask yourself the question, What is my next thought going to be?

Then close your eyes, and wait.

Inevitably a thought will come up. But did you notice that when you were waiting for the thought, it arose after a brief interval of no-thought? That no-thought is your conscious presence. And it’s just the surface. That’s your True Self, and it is infinitely deep. That’s not according to me. That’s according to Jesus. And the Buddha. And the Indian sages called the Upanishads. And the Sufi poet Rumi. And the Sufi poet Hafiz. And Gandhi.

The state of eternal peace, joy, and love is a reality. It’s simply obscured by your mind. When you can go beyond your mind, that’s when you’ll discover the state of infinite stillness.

And it’s already happened to you. Very likely. Do you remember when a sunset stunned your ever-seeking mind into quiet? And there were no thoughts, there was just presence? That’s your True Self coming to the forefront by a sight so beautiful it paused your mind and you were there without obstruction. Without looking through the hazy and altering perspective of your thinking mind.

On your spiritual trek, your mind will want to analyze and assess the validity of your findings. It will weigh how far you’ve come on your journey. The problem is, once you go into your mind you’ve stepped out of the no-mind, in Buddhist speak.

Your spirit exists beyond the mind, so anytime you logically try to assess what’s happening you’ve lost the thread of peace you were looking for. There’s a reason so many enlightened sages have said it’s only once you’ve stopped seeking that you will truly find.

It’s because your mind does the seeking, and once you let it be at peace you simply are. And that’s where the peace is.

Stop seeking enlightenment, and be.

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