The true spiritual journey—especially in today’s world—requires each of us to become a master. It is no longer enough to seek the master, to sit at the feet of the guru, to worship an external authority. You must become the master!

The master is both Zorba the Greek and Buddha the Enlightened—a “Zorba the Buddha.” A master can dance on the razor’s edge of having realized their true nature as unshakable consciousness and yet be fully immersed in a shaky world. A master knows “I am not the body” and yet can function as a body. A master has transcended the ego-self and yet has a sense of self—because without a self, how could he or she function in the three-dimensional world? Without a sense of self, you wouldn’t be able to communicate, or cross the road, or go shopping (or hunting) for your food—you wouldn’t survive.

So how can you be in the world, but not of the world?

This question is profound. The solution isn’t something you can learn with some methods, by doing a few workshops. To be in the world but not of the world requires a profound inquiry.

It means being willing to listen to yourself from a deeper place—to listen from that place in yourself that is deeper than the acquisitive mind. The acquisitive mind wants to get some- where, wants to know, wants to grasp, wants to possess, wants to take ownership of its experience. When we don’t truly know ourselves, we believe ourselves to be that voice inside the acquisitive mind—the voice that wants to be safe, that wants to be secure. On a functional level—you could also call it on an animal level—we need to be safe and secure. But on a psychological level, this need for safety and security prevents us from knowing our true awake nature.

To listen from that deeper place in you requires such a letting-go, such a willingness to stop giving your allegiance to the voice that drives the acquisitive mind. If you are to live fully awake and fully human, you are required to look within and ask what stands in the way of unclenching the ego’s grip on life. Can you tell the truth about your suffering? Can you be honest with yourself about how you fight with your experience, how you make an enemy of your thoughts and your feelings, how you reject and suppress and run away from what you don’t like or want? Can you see how, by listening to the acquisitive mind, you are reifying a divided self? Can you see that it’s not your experience that causes your suffering, but your rejection of the experience?

And then can you go a little deeper—by asking yourself if you are truly willing to stop rejecting your experience, to stop dividing life into good and bad, to stop making an enemy out of what is here? Because only if you are truly willing to end the war within can you start to wake up out of egoic identity and the dream of separation.

To wake up is to derive no identity from circumstance or experience, and yet to be fully engaged with the human experience. When a living inquiry arises in you—because your deepest longing is to know the peace that is always here whether life’s going your way or not—the awakeness of your true nature starts to shine through all circumstances and experiences. This awakeness is a presence that brings you into deep intimacy with life. And only when you are fully intimate with life can there be a real richness to your earthly life.

When you can surf the waves of the human experience—neither spiritually bypassing nor drowning in the mess of it—you become a master of life. What really happens is that the acquisitive mind steps down from its self-appointed position as master. It stops being the one that rules how you operate in life, the one that tortures you, that torments you with endless narratives of rights and wrongs. It’s as if this false master dies because you stop feeding it with your allegiance. When you stop believing the voice of this false master to be true, when you stop mistaking yourself for this voice, its role as the “controller of your life” dies—and it falls back into its rightful place. It dies as the tight knot of self, and it falls open into its true nature as being.

In falling open, mind transforms into the servant of that which is true. Now you are the master—not as someone who replaces the controller as another “supreme ruler,” but as one who has mastered the art of being awake and being human.

There’s no passivity in falling open—you’re not just “going with the flow,” floating downstream sleepily. On the contrary, there is poised receptivity—alertness, vigilance, presence, openness.You are right here, unmoving, unshakeable, and yet able to respond to any situation in a nanosecond. You have become a master of life, fully vibrating with aliveness—neither abdicating responsibility nor using your will to overpower life. There is elegance, grace, and a great power in this.

  • Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

This is an excerpt from Amoda’s forthcoming book ‘Falling Open in a World Falling Apart,’ published October 7th - Pre-purchase on Amazon

Falling Open in a World Falling Apart