Spiritual practice is tricky and there are countless traps on the path. Sometimes this trap might be our practice itself or our idea about it, that actually keeps us from waking up. It's so so easy to use practice, doesn't matter if it's Zen or Yoga or flying wingsuit or rock climbing or whatever practice you do, to just feel good, and by believing in feeling "good" we might bypass those areas, where we actually really should be listening and watching, even though it hurts like shit. I love, what the teacher Adyashanti said about this:
"Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It's seeing through the facade of pretence. It's the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
Nobody likes painful feelings, nobody likes to be hurt or rejected and in the end we all have a hard time letting go of everything, especially of the stuff that we hold so dearly. It's scary sometimes! That's ok, as long as we are aware of it and deal with that painful feeling of loss, for example. But if we face something uncomfortable and we aren't able to deal with it, there is a chance, that we use the powers of our practice to go around this painful issue instead of fully facing and dealing with it. Than we can't see it for what it really is and deep down the issue simply remains. Than our practice is not much different from drug use, right?
Our Ego wants to protect itself and will do anything to keep the illusion alive. Anything. Than if we aren't fully aware of what is going on, we just go straight over the painful areas, and rather believe in some temporary wonderful feeling that might come as byproduct from our practice. That might work for a while, but eventually it will kick us into our "balls" and we fall on our ass. Ouch! Spiritual practice is so so tricky.
One thing that might keep us from falling into those traps, is paying attention to stay fully VULNERABLE. Vulnerability is a true special power and if we can investigate that, it can help us to wake up and realize our fundamental completeness.
There is a great talk about vulnerability by Bréne Brown on TED talks. She studied the subject vulnerability from a science point of view and I find this can be an inspiration for our spiritual practice. We live in the times where science and spiritual practice (which is science itself!) can inspire each other like never before.
Enjoy ... and please stay vulnerable.