How to Walk the Middle Path of the Buddha
The theme is to pay attention to consciousness more than thought. That means the externals are a reflection of the internal.
I've been working on being a good student, practitioner, and teacher. And what does that look like? How do I carry myself?
I think I learned something along the way. It doesn't really matter what's going on on the outside but what's going on on the inside. It sounds simple and cliché but it's true.
Find the clarity within you. It will cause the flowers to grow.
You can't force the flowers to grow by changing the environment on the surface. You have to change it on the inside and then the outside will be a reflection of the inside. So that was the big lesson of 2018. That's a hard lesson. It's an interesting one too because I noticed a lot of people in the realm of Kundalini Yoga. They say, “I don't want to wear a turban and white all the time so I'm never gonna do that.”
Well the challenge is you're missing the point when you say I'm never gonna do that. What you want to say is, “I'm not only going to do that and I'm not only going to do this.” There's no ‘always’ and ‘never’. Instead you say, “I'm going to do the practices that allow the best version of myself to show up. I'm open to whatever it is that serves that.”
Sometimes I wear my hair down and I wear the rock-and-roll clothes that I love. Sometimes I wear my hair up and I tie my turban because I need that. And I pay more attention to what's going on inside of me and how it wants to be expressed rather than “I'm this and so I'm going to behave like that. Now I'm this Kundalini yogi so I have to wear the turban. I have to do…” No you don't have to! And you also don't have to rebel against that where you're like “I will never.”
That's the middle path of the Buddha.
That's when you know you have inner peace on the inside; it can be expressed in whatever way you like. But if you try and do something because you're supposed to or to rebel fully against what you're supposed to, it will always swing to the other extreme until you say, “I'm open, let's just see. What am I going to be doing next? I don't know.” And that's just getting in touch with your nature.
“I reserve the right to change my mind.”
That's another big one from 2018. You don't have to do something because you're supposed to or you're required to do it. You do things so that you can see the best version of you. Consciousness is where am I at in this moment and then expressing that. It’s not where you're supposed to be. Consciousness is getting so quiet, so in tune with yourself that you can express from that place of clarity without being influenced by:
- the past or
- the future
“I give my future to God” takes care of the past in the future.
This saying is the big one for me these days. You can find your own but it cures my busy mind:
“What about this and what about that?”
“I want to be a good student so I should dress like my teacher.”
“I should do this.”
“I should get up at this time and I should eat this.”
“I should behave in this way.”
And then you just stay connected to that. If you forget use a mantra and allow that mantra to change you from the inside out. Let it take away your doubt and your need to get somewhere so you can just be who you are. I love wearing jeans and letting my hair down. I also love tying my hair up. And that brings us to 2019.
It's about that neutrality, being in the world.
We're going to the Golden Temple in Amritsar in April for the first time. That is really exciting to me. That's also who I am. I got these tattoos of Guru Nanak and Lemmy. They are my guardian angels. Lemmy, the god of rock and roll and the free spirit – He did what he wanted and you couldn't put him in a box. People would say what is Motorhead? Is it hard rock or heavy metal? He would say it's Motorhead; it can't be classified. So this is a reminder to be free.
Guru Nanak’s tattoo is a reminder on the spiritual side, to listen deeply to your true inner voice beyond religion and beyond dogma. Sometimes I go too far over in the other direction and Guru Nanak reminds me to come back.
It's about being the person at your job who people can trust or who's not hungover all the time or who's not trying to take advantage of people in a sexual way in the workplace. Instead it is who's able to be positive even when things are hard and who's able to be a friend to all. That's what it's about. You’ve got to deal with you so that you can be that person.
The more people there are like that the better life is. And so that's why I do what I do. I realized that if you get quiet enough in your daily practice, you realize that the answers are in you. They're already there and you have all the things. Sometimes I need Motorhead. Sometimes I need mantra. I know that so I'm going to live the best version of myself.
You've got to get quiet so that you can hear through even your own self telling you you're supposed to be so-and-so because this is what these kinds of people do. It's a waste of time and energy.