“You can’t know the fruits of a practice until you do the practice.” What does this mean and how can we use this teaching to adjust our approach to sadhana? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi
First Words from Podcast
There’s a teaching that was hammered into my head when I was like you, practicing with my teacher. That teaching was that you can’t know the fruits of the practice until you do the practice.
We can read books that tell us something like what we’re going to get out of our practice. Everyone loves to read those books, especially if they involve special powers and things like that. To a certain extent, it’s useful to understand what people who went before you have accomplished in their practice. On another level, though, it creates a lot of conditioning and expectations. Expectations like I’m going to feel better, I’m going to be more relaxed, I’m going to be in a state of bliss, or something like that even if it’s not any specific expectation.
Then we kind of front-load the situation. We start interpreting every little thing that happens in light of the fruits that we think we should be getting. Then if we don’t get those specific things, we feel disappointed. We think it’s not working. All of this is in our heads.
The statement that we can’t know the fruit of the practice until we do the practice means that knowing is embodying. In any spiritual tradition where you actually have a practice to do, knowing means that you embody it. It doesn’t mean that you get an idea of it, or you have a concept of it. So you can’t know the fruit of the practice before you do it because you can’t embody the practice before you do it. That’s one level of meaning of this teaching.