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I notice that many spiritual students appear to have a false belief that deprivation is somehow more spiritual. I’m pretty sure that Buddha’s whole life taught us that the middle way is the faster path to awakening.
In my family, my grandparents were young in the depression. Then they went through WWII, and lack and limitation became a way of life in many ways. In my family, we really have never felt comfortable with extravagance. It seems somehow shameful or wrong. I know this is a false belief.
In my family, we’re hard workers. We enjoy working and we enjoy playing, too. What I don’t see a lot of is self-nurturing. Yet, that’s something I’ve learned is essential to my awakening to my divinity.
The more I walk this path of awakening, the more clear I am that we don’t have to crucify ourselves, and we don’t have to live deprived of Joy and pleasure.
While some spiritual students have a deep aversion to pleasure, due to a fear of becoming addicted to pleasure, that doesn’t mean that pleasure is bad. Let’s just not make it a false idol. Let’s not pursue pleasure for the sake of pleasure, because that really is a huge distraction and detour.
The greatest Joy comes from knowing ourselves as God. Since we are the Presence of God in our own life, let’s nurture and cherish ourselves into our remembrance of that fact.
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