Many speak about renunciation as a crucial aspect of spiritual practice. Monks practice renunciation of this and that and many take it as a given thing that spiritual practice at some point requires one to renounce something from the so-called normal life-world, whether it be relationship, sex, meat, alcohol, ordinary entertainments etc. But is the renunciation of objects and connections within the apparent really the source of spiritual realisation? In fact, if there even what appears to be an outer-renunciation then it is always a symptom of the real true inner renunciation. In that case any kind of supposed outer renunciation will not feel like a renunciation or a discipline, but rather just a natural flow of life.
One may make certain outer adjustments in life in order to feel healthier, more organised or whatever. But this is still on the level of action and doing only. It is still within the realm of alteration. Real spiritual practice is to do with being and connecting to that which is unalterable and eternally unchangeable. When one begins, one may think that ‘I have to this and that in order to progress’; there is a certain pattern of action or non-action which one assumes to be connected with the process of spiritual evolution or realisation. But as one learns to connect deeper to the being the process that one calls one’s spiritual practice becomes ever more subtle and outwardly indefinable.
Renunciation means that one renounces the ordinary emotion-driven patterns of thought and being. One cannot become renounced because the inner space of natural thought-free blissful awareness is already that renunciation all the time. One only has to dive into it and intend to be in that space all the time. A commitment is made to ‘be that’. And if this commitment stands then eventually all of the distorted programs that result from the subtle tendencies and inclinations within self will be dissolved simply through the stilling of the waves of the mind. One does not have to go within self and start unfolding and analysing the stories of ones life: ‘why did this happen, why did that happen?’ One simply has to learn to make one’s awareness more acute so that one perceives the subtle movements and oscillations of the mind-body. But one may ask, ‘I perceive the thoughts and emotions, yet they still do not dissolve.’ This is because that perception is still not pure. At the beginning one may think that ‘I am observing the mind and I am the witness.’ Yet, often this is just another layer of limited self-perception because it is not possible at first even on a physical level to be still and perceive the space of mind in an equanimous state.
As much as many beings say that they want to be spiritual, they want to be free, they want to abide in stillness, often such being’s minds still testify to a great desire to think about being spiritual, talk about being free and imagine a state stillness that renders one superhuman. What actually propels real renunciation, is a desire that is absolutely silent and cannot be called a desire at all. The spiritual push to evolve is that space itself. There is no desire that pushes one to refine self and merge with the selfless eternal being. There is only that being itself. The true spiritual journey is just the sense of that being expanding and dissolving all conditional perceptions in its effulgent light. That is why it said the path is about being and not doing. When one connects to that being then there is no longer any question of what is to be done and what is not to be done. Everything is given because the life becomes a flow of that being. There can no longer be panic of ‘If I don’t do this practice then I won’t evolve’, or ‘if I eat this then I lose my spiritual merit’. That being is beyond any possible condition. And if there is still a worry or a doubt about the being or any kind of conditional notion of the ultimate being that is rooted in a conditional limited appearance, there will always be a ceiling to the evolution. This is the real evolution and it is absolute perfect contentment and flow.
The real renunciate’s awareness is renounced of its reliance on conditional apparent phenomena. The world may still appear and the bodily life in the world may go on, but the cords are cut and the apparent world is perceived as empty. Thus, the world appears then as a flickering of that primordial light itself.
What is the unrenounced condition? Does it means that one lives in the modern world, eats certain food, goes to the movies or has sexual relationship? No, the unrenounced condition is the one that empowers conditional appearances as important, substantial and the source of both suffering and happiness. Appearances are neither the source of suffering or happiness. The substance, bliss and reality of the empty, without-quality, nameless existence-being is reflected onto its own appearance and thus invests that appearance with its power and thus the world seems to have a meaning, purpose and importance. When that awareness is withdrawn the former perception of the world is burnt and dissolved and it can no longer be perceived the same way. The world can no longer exist as it did before. There is only a being and a multi-faceted perception of the multidimensional manifestation of that being. There is nothing to renounce and nothing to do. One must first awake to one’s being. It is then that being that dictates the movements the manifestation seems to take. There is nothing to calculate, nothing to work out and nothing to decide. Answers that unravel the perceived reality come through the connection to the true and spotless reality. But it is that blissful being that is the only real answer at each and every moment.