Your boundaries are your quest. You must have shadow and light source both. Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe. ~ Rumi
The main goal of Eastern spiritual practice is to know God directly, as many saints, sages, and mystics have done across the ages. In order to (re)discover ourselves as the divine, we need to create a new relationship with the mind and the body that recognizes them as valuable instruments without seeing them as our source of identity. Typically, we judge our sense of value and purpose based on the capabilities of the body and the mind. We feel good about ourselves when we feel strong, smart, attractive, useful, and productive, and bad about ourselves when the body and mind do not live up to those desired expectations. Our emotions constantly shift, governed by that which is temporary.
But we can change our source of identity to the unshakable wisdom of the eternal. In order to find this new center, we need to flip this tendency on its head: instead of deriving our identity from the ephemeral body and mind, we see the body as "a body" rather than "my body"; we see the mind as "a mind" rather than "my mind." While we appreciate and have compassion for the limited mind and body, we use practices of prayer, meditation, and contemplation to focus on the divine as our center, our foundation, and ultimately, as ourselves.
Our true nature is pure consciousness: what Buddha called boundless love, compassion, equanimity, and joy; what the tradition of yoga calls satchitananda, or being, consciousness, and bliss; and what Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven. Our value does not come from the body or the mind, but from pure Being. The body and mind with their limited consciousness are like the moon, reflecting borrowed light and energy from the original source of light that lies hidden. As we connect to the source of pure consciousness, we know ourselves as that steady peace, love, and joy that surpasses understanding.
A Golden Compass
Forget every idea of right and wrong
Any classroom ever taught you
An empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear
Are always the testimony.
You have been completely fooled!
Turn your back on those
Who would imprison your wondrous spirit
With deceit and lies.
Come, join the honest company
Of the King’s beggars –
Those gamblers, scoundrels, and divine clowns
And those astonishing fair courtesans
Who need Divine Love every night.
Come, join the courageous
Who have no choice
But to bet their entire world
Indeed, God is Real.
I will lead you into the Circle
Of the Beloved’s cunning thieves,
Those playful royal rogues –
The ones you can trust for true guidance –
Who can aid you
In this Blessed Calamity of life.
Look at the Perfect One
At the Circle’s Center:
He Spins and Whirls like a Golden Compass,
Beyond all that is Rational,
To show this dear world
Everything in Existence
Does point to God.