dogma shopping

25 Apr

Why am I constantly surprised when I find the words for things I can’t find words for? So what if I wasn’t the one to use them first..

My beliefs have radically changed over the last several years. As a result, things have become more clear and I am less attached to my beliefs. When my old paradigm dissolved, it went with a big fight. I was really convinced that the belief structure I was clinging to was absolute truth. I had a long list of reasons why. I was still open-minded, but there were certain core beliefs that were Dogma for me: doctrine set in stone. Any new information I was considering would only be accepted if it fit into that given construct of what I already viewed as True. (And why I couldn’t for the life of me fully grasp, The Power of Now the first time I read it!)

Thankfully for me, I hit a huge, massive depression. It was either drive off of the freeway and leave this earth quietly (which seemed like a refreshing thought at the time), or try anything and everything to survive and scramble some semblance of happiness together. I looked at my little boys and I knew I wanted to figure it out. For me, healing started with physical yoga and opening my mind to try ANYTHING that might help. I was in desperation and I knew it. I tried aura readings, meditation, counseling, medication. Piece by piece I was able to glean little things here and there that helped. What I discovered was that my past spiritual framework provided me with very little REAL knowledge on the subject of happiness, what it was, where it came from, and how to live in it’s abundance. I had no clue before hand, what the architecture of the Spirit, or the Mind were. I started to wake up to things that were right in front of me that I never saw before. I couldn’t get enough yoga and buddhist philosophy. I still can’t. Not because it’s superior, not because I feel that it’s truth with a capital T, but because I see so clearly that much of it is helpful, and much of it matches up with reality. I have found that by living what Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Your own life is the instrument for which we experiment with the truth”, that I’m waking up more every day as I work honestly through these teachings.

Now that I’m well versed and practiced in this yoga world of mine, and I feel very little suffering in comparison to years past – I’ve been wondering… Have I become a DOGMA SHOPPER? You know, switching one paradigm out for another, hanging on to my new beliefs and dogma so tightly that I can’t see the clarity around me? I’ve decided that I’m hugely relieved to be asking myself that question. 

A while back, when having lunch with a friend who shared my old belief system and had really helped me back during my dark depression days, she was asking about my shift and I was able to share with her how happy I am now. Her response was “I’m sorry”. She was so upset that I had left behind what she saw as true, that she couldn’t see happiness right in front of her.  It’s true, we need some structure of belief in order to function. We need a helpful viewpoint of the world in order TO function in peace and happiness. Having said that, I don’t want to end up living in a kooky world of magical thinking, replacing one set of self-soothing man-made beliefs for another, but still having no proximity to deeper awareness. I do not want to spin my wheels in quicksand.

It seems to me that the key to functioning healthfully within the given belief structure, is to just hold on softly and gently. To hold those beliefs in your hand and keep looking at them from every angle. Work them. Feel them –  but never feel that they are yours to hold on to for dear life. Only hold on to what works and what is simple and clear right out in the open. Dogma seems to be the death of personal enlightenment and to be a little selfish here, I don’t think I can go on living without those a-ha moments. Those times when we discover truths so obvious, so simple that they are hiding right out in the open, under our noses. A-HA… click, got it! 

No, I don’t want to just be a dogma shopper, simply replacing one set of beliefs for a new-improved version. I want to experience more clarity. Not because I want Truth, but because I want peace. I want happiness. 

In true yoga fashion, things are working in synchronicity. I found myself listening to Adyashanti again tonight, and of course – he is speaking much more eloquently, the exact ramblings of my mind. 

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