When I was at the Yasodhara Ashram on Kootenay Bay in Canada, everywhere I turned there were signs saying, “Above all try to find God.” When it was my turn to head the nightly satsang, I said, “You’re wasting your time; God is not an object.” Similarly, when I have seen signs (and heard a teacher) exhorting students to “Try harder! Work harder!” it has seemed like a contradiction to me. “I must try harder. I must work harder” are egotistical statements, rooted in the “I,” the “small self.” To try to be humble is egotistical and reeks of self-clinging.

Then, how to act? To live in a straightforward manner, to speak in a truthful manner (not as easy as it sounds), is enough. The Prajna, the inherent wisdom that is in all of us, will take care of the rest. To be straightforward does not mean to be shrewd, to look for advantages. And it certainly doesn’t mean to say, “I want to share” when what is meant is, “I want to profit.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, but face the truth – that that is the motive. Huineng said, “The straightforward mind is an enlightened mind.”

This article is published in Spiritual Odyssey.