This started with a quest for a morning routine. I’d gotten exactly what I wanted – a life filled with travel, a partner, and lots of opportunities. But with all of that, my daily structure was non-existent. The lack of stability and routine in my daily life was weighing on me. The only consistent habit was my morning pages (a lá The Artist’s Way) and coffee. Lots of coffee.
In October, I picked up a copy of Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass. If you’ve ever flipped through its pages you know about the “brown paper bag” portion, as I like to call it. It’s filled with drawings and descriptions of the spiritual path, as told by an American psychologist turned LSD researcher turned spiritual teacher. How the book came into my hands in the first place is another story for another time.
I’d heard the word Sadhana before, but the meaning of it didn’t sink in until I read Be Here Now. Here, a description of the Sadhana according to Baba Ram Dass:
Don’t let that offend you, but…
The external world is all the same…
It’s all the external world!
People often say to me:
I would really like to do Sadhana, but… I’m a teacher now.
If I could only finish being a teacher, I could do Sadhana.
You’re either doing Sadhana or you’re not.
Sadhana is a full time thing that you do because there is nothing else to do.
You do it whether you are teaching,
or sitting in a monastery,
whether you’re lying in bed,
going to the toilet,
EVERYTHING is a part of waking up.
At the time (and for a few months now) I’ve been in the midst of some kind of existential crisis, where nothing feels aligned and it seems easier to run to the jungles of South America, or the peaks of the Himalayas, or the …. you get the picture. Spiritual escapism.
Everything is part of waking up. The mundane, the profane, and the sacred. All are parts of waking up.