Have you ever wondered why you do what you do when you do it? What is the underlying motivation that keeps the doer doing?
We act to remove a sense of limitation or inadequacy, so we can experience our essential nature as love.
We seek pleasure to remove boredom, dissatisfaction, and sorrow. We want security (money) not for security’s sake but to remove a sense of insecurity. We desire virtue to offset guilt and shame. We seek power because we feel powerless, and fame because the fullness of Self is hidden from us.
We seldom understand the motivation for our actions and therefore make matters worse, strengthening the desire for objects and experience, which are nothing more than illusory placeholders for the joy and love that are inherent to us. In seeking love externally from people, places and things, we obscure the love that we are.
Discrimination, a foundational practice in Vedanta, is the process of removing the chaff from wheat. It’s using the intellect to separate the non-essential from the essential and then holding fast to the essential. Discriminating is analyzing action and its results and then choosing actions which serve the greater good. It’s assessing our values and determining if our actions align with them.
This process is simple but not easy, because our conditioning runs deep. There is great momentum to act as we have previously even though the results we achieve, again and again, are limited.
Love is what remains when the non-essential characteristics of every experience have been negated. Love is our nature, the very light of consciousness that effortlessly shines 24/7/365.
Join me at True Nature, Carbondale, CO, Wednesday evenings, 7:30pm for Meditation and Vedanta w/ Q & A and Thursdays noon, for Dharma Talk, A Vedanta Book Study Group. There is never a set fee for Vedanta per tradition though your donations are greatly appreciated.
While I penned this piece, the above are the words of my teacher Ramji and the teachings of traditional Vedanta.
Photo by Katherine Dessert.