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Advaita and Discipline
As time passes and I watch seekers dance with the marriage of advaita, meditation and celebration that I teach, further insights arise.
Spiritual growth requires effort and discipline as the foundation for the conscious let go into the flow of isnesss, that is the essential application of advaita in life.
Surrender to whatever happens in less conscious seekers is likely to involve resignation to unconsciousness and limitation. Conscious surrender to life is actually only possible for those who have developed more consciousness through the discipline of remaining conscious every moment in all situations. This essential preparation for surrender involves the ego choosing to live each moment more consciously; until consciousness has grown sufficiently to manage this spontaneously.
For seekers who have not yet passed through this discipline, the invitation of advaita to let life live you will have less helpful results. For the seeker's ego must make every possible effort to live more consciously, and be achieving some success is this endeavour, before conscious surrender is really possible.
Nowadays I still teach advaita as the context that all ego-based effort occurs in. For in reality there is only divine will managing every individual ego, and the entire functioning of every detail of all existence.
Yet divine will requires your totality of individual effort to live each moment more consciously, before it reveals itself as the only real doer. This understanding avoids the limitations of meditation (unnecessary ego burden and responsibility) and of advaita (unverified belief in truth, resignation, and let go into unconsciousness).
The present popularity of advaita-based teachings, that are not supported by the discipline of conscious living and being, have left many seekers confused. The antidote is simple: Make every possible effort to grow in consciousness, while understanding that it's really all just a play of divine will. And that even your individual ego, which requires positive development through discipline, is also a reflection of the only power there is: The power of the One. This allows you to have your cake and eat it too: by fully engaging in self-improvement and ego-based discipline, in the playful context of understanding that it's all just the mysterious unfolding of the cosmic Leela.
Even your very special individuality and ego is nothing but a play of the One.