If like me you enjoy a good wedge of cake sometimes, the following might interest you.
Being told to ‘go and eat cake, but on your own terms’, by a well-loved and well-respected meditation teacher, has to be good news – especially when it’s delivered on a meditation retreat.
An image of fifty five people sitting in lotus position, cramming their mouths with cake is hard to dismiss, but it’s what I love about this teaching of Ascension – you get stuff that you don’t expect to hear.
By the way, we don’t sit in lotus position either.
It really wasn’t the cake that excited me, (yeah, right, I hear you say), it was the awareness that the instruction engendered that grabbed me.
Let me back track a little. The retreat was about exploration of consciousness, or a taster of self-mastery. Put very simply, consciousness, or awareness is all there is. It’s everywhere, in everything, in everybody. It animates life in the world of form – which is where we are experiencing life right now.
Although awareness is transcendent (not of the world of form), it percolates through to this realm in order to beckon us back home to our divinity.
Because we believe we are separate, living our lives on this beautiful blue planet roving in space, each of us little islands floating in a seemingly hostile world, we fall back onto the ego’s narrative – you know the one – that not so little voice in your head which tells you what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, why you should be afraid, ashamed, proud, or guilty.
So when we are told to notice when it delivers one of its directives such as ‘I really want a cup of tea, ‘I want a piece of cake’, ‘I really fancy a cigarette’ – we notice it, and ask ourselves who is talking? It’s not us apparently, but the conditioned mind or ego. All we have to do is notice the voice, ignore it for a time, then go and do what we want to do on our own terms.
What a gentle way to become more conscious – no wonder this path is called the Bright Path. There’s no beating ourselves up about what we do, we just have to notice the voice in our head that tells us to do things and then decide for ourselves. As I’ve practised this, I’ve become more aware of the constant narrative in my head, and I believe it has become quieter. There is more peace. Life seems brighter.
Beating ourselves up about our habits only deepens the grooves in our minds; awareness cuts straight through them, and leaves us in a better place to contact our peace within. We are not the constant narrative in our heads. We are so much more than that.
As for the cake – strangely I haven’t fancied any lately.