I didn’t update my journal for some time. From January to May this year, I’d lived a considerably ascetic lifestyle. I’d been living in complete retreat from the world: not desiring anything with it, and finding most of my enjoyment in my spiritual practices. I became very introverted and wanted to spend much of my time alone. My diet had been highly sattvic: large quantities of raw, fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetable juices, smoothies with nuts and nut butters for additional calories.
From May to July, there was a huge surge of extroverted energy. Suddenly, I seemed to be living by the words: Eat, Drink and Be Merry! I’m afraid this lead to some excess. I drank a lot of alcohol. I smoked some cigarettes. My diet became more rajasic. Wordly desires arose. There was also a strong resurgence of some of my more pronounced negative egoic qualities. Yet beneath this, was much ecstasy, and acceptance of this side of myself, instead of attempting to control or deny it. I allowed it to enjoy itself. I was not born a saint, and violently judging myself for failing to always meet my highest ideals seems only to cause suffering.
This shift also corrected some imbalances. Where I’d been cold and detached in my relationships, I found myself becoming warm and loving. Where I’d been reclusive and introverted, I became sociable and fun. The long depression I’d suffered from January to May completely abated. I released a great deal of attachment, allowing things to be as they are, instead of forcing my ideals upon them. I became hard-working and had successful results in my career, where before I’d had difficulty motivating myself. My melancholy longing for enlightenment became transformed into non-attached love and acceptance of life as it is.
By mid-July, this excessive extroverted energy had died down. I’ve found I can resume my AYP routine (5 mins SBP, 15-20 mins DM) without overloading. Very strong desire for liberation is with me through each day. I read Nisargadatta Maharaj. My diet has naturally become very sattvic again.
I’ve left this experience having learned some important lessons. Particularly:
I’ve learned to stop looking outward for advice. Instead, if I have a question, I look within, and ask myself. The answers often come in a flash of inspiration. It’s a much better way to solve problems than reading other peoples advice.
I’ve come out with an enhanced awareness of my flaws that keep me trapped in suffering and egoity. Seeing the flaws is the first step towards releasing them.