Deep insights and profound experiences are great. I love them, but they are the exception, not the rule. That’s why they’re called peak experiences, not ordinary experiences. I think of them as precious gifts that are pure delight when first received. Then it’s time to work with them, to put them into daily practice and make them part of every day life. That’s where most of us stumble.
Peak experiences always impart some wisdom about a change to be made in our perception, beliefs, or behaviors. Sometimes it’s all of the above. If, for example, you’ve ever experienced a moment of oneness consciousness you find later, perhaps the next day or even the next moment, that judging and creating separation from others is a habit that has to go.
That’s not as easy as making a decision not to judge because the behavior and underlying beliefs are implanted in every human being from birth. As much as I want to be totally free from judgment, I still judge others, usually when I’m not fully present. That happens much more frequently than I’d like.
Another behavior pattern I’m finding tough to change is how I relate to and care for my physical body. I spent years under the conditioned belief that the body is inferior to the soul or even the mind, and that it is a limitation, even a burden. That kind of attitude creates separation, and that creates pain, degeneration, and sometimes disease. I do appreciate my body now and I do want to treat it with the loving kindness and respect that it deserves. However, I keep forgetting to do that in the midst of busy days. The old habits of neglect keep creeping back.
As I’m beginning to teach more of what I’ve learned I find that haven’t implemented all of it on a daily basis. I have a huge toolbox full of tools and some of them haven’t been taken out for quite some time. Am I really living what I teach? To the best of my ability, yes, but there’s room for improvement. I need to be more present and aware throughout my day, not just in meditation or creative pursuits. Those are the times that are easy. It’s the other times that will make the difference between talking about it and living it.