Looking for motivation to do spiritual practice? The students in the Jaya Kula monthly Tantrik studies program got together and shared why they keep doin’ it. Here are their words, unedited.
May these thoughts inspire others to practice and to relax about being human.
Why I do spiritual practice. . .
- I want out.
- I feel like I should – the “ideal me” thing.
- I’ve tasted morsels of More, hints that pull at me.
- I feel longing to connect with Ma.
- I want to be free of my habitual patterns so I can just be natural.
- I want to be able to really see people, including myself, & interact intimately, not just with projections.
- I want greater ease in life.
- I want to be comfortable.
- To be seen as someone who does spiritual practice.
- Because every now and again something delightful happens
- Because it gives me a reason to get out of bed in a prompt way.
- To actively engage commitment and discipline.
- Because I want to experience death and birth in a different way.
- Because a lot of wise beings have endorsed it.
- To better entertain the creative life force.
- It feels good (sometimes).
- I don’t want to be afraid of the openness of life.
- It relaxes me.
- I feel like doing practice will position me well to get what I think I want.
- I don’t know what else to do.
- To confront my sense of being “not good enough”.
- To understand my fixations and how they put a veil over my everyday experience.
- To have or create more space between my thoughts and actions.
- To help me hear my own feelings of kheyal and follow them.
- To connect with my guru.
- To challenge myself and create healthier patterns.
- To stop wasting time on things that do not serve me.
- Practice is the only way I can make sense out of this life.
- Life has this ephemeral quality that leaves something more to be desired.
- The taste of practice can be, at times, delicious. So it attracts me to be connected in some way possible (even if its meagre).
- At times, I practice because without it, my life is falling apart and I don’t wish my life to be that way.
- I practice so that someday I can run into “my” Guru.
- I practice so that I can learn more about my physiology. If things happen in my body, I wish to know why – why am I mellow today, why am I excited today.
- To try to feel closer to God
- To open my heart
- To learn about reality
- To let go of all my fears
- To be healthy
- To stop the cycle
- To remember the unity
- To be in community
- Fear of punishment if I don’t
- I have no other options (tried them all!)
- It works!
- Walk my talk
Break my destructive habits
I feel like it is what I am supposed to do.
Gives me hope that I can be ok.
Makes my life easier.
To feel peace
To feel clarity
To feel compassion
To connect with my teacher
- I do spiritual practice so I won’t increase my chances of burning in the fires of hell realm on earth.
- I do spiritual practice because of the restoration of peace of mind that comes with it, at times.
- I do spiritual practice because my body has always welcomed it.
- I do spiritual practice because my momma told me it would be good for me.
- I do spiritual practice because prayer and longing for God has always been part of this life.
- To feel less angry
- To know who I really am
- To feel original
- Because I keep coming back to it
- Because the rest of my day sort of seems to fall in order when I do it
- Practice lines me, i.e. restores alignment, stabilizes me for the day and makes me happier on the days I do it.
- Enhances my sense of belonging to life, and to my life.
- Enhances my ability to be present
- Turns up my ability to see myself, which is sometimes painful.
- Opens my heart and most often, my tear ducts.
- Allows me to be less reactive in the world.
- I so much enjoy the candle-lit little circle of quiet and solace and peace around me and the altar.
- Singing to my chakras is fun, and makes me laugh.
- A really good way to start the day.
- Practice calls to me. It is a friend.
- To accomplish something
- It’s better than checking out in other ways
- I made a commitment
- To feel more at ease in the world
- To feel more joy and desire to actually be here
- To fulfill my potential and be more fully expressed, less limited, less stifled
- To have more clarity and sensitivity to the call and response of self to self
- To help others relax and find more peace in themselves
- To benefit others, and feel more connection to others
- My teacher says I have to
- To be more awake
- To become aware of my habits
- To be part of a larger community of practitioners
- To sense more awareness
- To build capacity
- Sometimes it relaxes me
- To please my teacher.
- It feels great-gives a legal high
- Afraid of facing karma, of learning it and not practicing
- To get through Rahu and gain more clarity
- So that life is easier to experience
- To get ahead in life
- To look deeply into myself and learn about myself
- Gives me something to hold on to
- What else would I be doing? Nothing better to do
- To gain more confidence and self love
- To measure up with others in the community
- It is mysterious and not intellectual and boring.
- I can understand and embody more wisdom
- To see the shit I don’t wanna look at
- To be more honest with myself and life
- To step out of fear and be less afraid
- To know mySelf
- To cultivate real honesty
- To be FULLY expressive (to see and know my self-imposed limitations so that I can express mySelf fully and naturally)
- To feel more connected/less separate and lonely
- Because for some reason I identify myself as a ‘spiritual person’ and that seems like a good thing to be
- To be noticed, validated, and impressive
- I honestly don’t know what else I would be doing, I think I would go insane and be medicated and/or institutionalized if it were not for teachings
- Now that I actually practice it feels harder to answer the question but easier to feel why I practice
- Because I want to feel free of tensions.
- To feel better
- To feel stable
- To be able to open to others
- To connect with life
- To avoid depression
- Feels like the only thing that makes sense or the best way to communicate with life
- Because I’m supposed to
- To get a break from my controlling craziness
- To get acquainted with more healthier natural ways of being
- Because I know I’m not just my thoughts and feelings
- Because this is what Reality is doing with me. It’s what God wants, how God is expressing through my small self.
- Because my self longs for Self.
- Because there is an exchange happening and I am participating in that.
- Devotion. Self offering to Self.
- Because I want to be immersed in Presence.
- I want to know how Reality works.
- I want God’s way to express through me. No more small will, aggressively forging ahead with plans.
- Practice is receptivity. I want to pay attention to something other than thoughts and desires.
- I don’t want to miss anything.
- I know I’m going to die.
- I have this human life, this Teacher, this community–so much opportunity. I want to wake up, and I want other people to benefit from my waking up.
- To feel better, calmer, less angry
- To know myself more
- To relate to others more clearly, honestly, and closely
- Because I have the urge to
- Because I want to
- Because I want to be saved from feeling bad about myself
- Because it feels good
- To feel more alive, to be in that lively presence
- To know reality more
- To get out of my thinking head
- Because I’m curious to know in a way that’s not intellectual knowing
- To practice being more honest
- To have a sense of pride and accomplishment so I feel better about myself
- Because I like the way it makes me feel throughout my day, crisper, more alive, less dull
- Because I sometimes get to laugh with more ease
- Because I like praying, digging around in my heart and seeing what’s there
- Because it’s an adventure and it’s scary and exhilarating
- Because I can
- To discover more about my capacity as a human
- To feel connected
- To feel more comfortable with dying
- To fill time and feel good about myself
- Takes me out of myself and routine
- To open in my heart to receive people better
- To accept myself
- To be more aware
- To better maneuver through realm fixations
- To feel good/content/happy
- I practice because I feel there is more to this life than I can perceive.
- I want to live a guided life.
- I want to be a part of something.
- I made a commitment.
- Because my roommate does it, and I like living in a house where we all practice.
- Stress less about situations that make me anxious
- Be nicer to the people I love, and to everyone
- Stop hurting the people I love
- Be happier
- Be less attached to outcomes
Sometimes, like recently, I don’t know why I practice.
To feel something real.
Sometimes because I hunger and thirst for it.
- Be less nervous, more confident
- Be more honest with myself and with others
- Feel more OK with everything
- Because my teacher requires it.
- To change my karmic patterns
- To participate more fully
- To change my defensiveness
- Practice impacts my relationship with my boyfriend.
- To be more relaxed
Because I want to know, and really see, what’s happening in this world.
I want not to feel sad, or not to feel loss so much.
I’m increasingly tired of this world.
I want my help to be effective.
I want to be graceful and radiant.
I want not to be afraid of death.
I want to be prepared for after death.
I want to experience that uncontrived playful expressiveness my teacher is always talking about.
- It’s one of the only things that makes me feel like I have a purpose. Even if that feeling of purpose sometimes has the taste of superiority deep down there is a feeling of purpose that is being fulfilled despite the various flavors of my karma.
- What else is there to do that brings me such fulfillment? I’ve looked for fulfillment in many places and sadhana is the only one that I’ve found that gives me unwavering fulfillment, even when I don’t want to practice or I think “nothing” is happening. I still have a sense of fulfillment somewhere in there.
- There is of course a lingering feeling of greatness. It seems to be a Yogi is the greatest thing one can do. Maybe I feel like that because I love it so much, but I have struggled with visions of grandeur for as long as I can remember.
- Because I want to express myself without feeling stupid, embarrassed or self-conscious. I want to express myself spontaneously and in all the ways I’ve always wanted to.
- To have the fullest life I can. This seems/feels like the path to that.
- To see more clearly when I’m not giving a shit about anyone else but myself and to pull out of it and care and love people more.
- I want to get back there, to presence.
- In the beginning it was for siddhis, now it’s for a heart.