//Spirituality demands selflessness

Spirituality demands selflessness

Kiran is just 29. But he is a very different young man. He looks forward to a challenge. He is ready to explore closely other religious traditions. He has discovered a sense of transcendence through the fulfilment that can be found in selflessness.

            Kiran’s university studies are very demanding, yet they help him achieve his ultimate goal which is to become his own man. In his own words, he felt he was giving “his all” and only this mattered. Kiran judges his performance first by his good intentions and honest efforts, rather than his results.

“There is,” Kiran says, “inner satisfaction for me knowing that “my all” goes into everything that I do. I’m completely mindful. My ‘all’ must surely be my inner spirit. There are many times, when, despite my efforts, there is mental resistance. I have to work hard to overcome negative biases and to construct reality instead of accepting it as it comes.”

Spirituality demands selflessness, he says. One has to make sure that the arrogant, greedy ego does not have the upper hand. The team spirit is what counts. He has transformed himself through simplifying his life, strong self-discipline and commitment to achieving the best he can. “Reducing my life to essentials is the first step to realizing my spiritual goals,” he says.

Kiran finds himself becoming more tolerant of others’ views and characters. He says, “At the end of the day, I strive honestly to fulfil my capacity, whatever it may be, and that will be through my attentive mindfulness. Through the mindfulness I give to my everyday activities I reveal my sacred self. “

At this time in his life Kiran has discovered the benefits of meditation. Recently he completed a ten- day Buddhist vipassana meditation retreat. It was based on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path. It teaches observation of the body and thoughts in the minutest detail. He felt it has the capacity to develop the sort of life he wants for himself. Kiran, born a Catholic, did not hesitate to explore what Buddhism has to offer.  “Buddhism was a wonderful revelation to me, and it gave me new insights. In the old days at church nobody taught me the ways to accomplish inner peace and mindful balance.”

“Attending the vipassana retreat was like being given a map to point me in the right direction. It expanded my life in eight steps, all of which were dependent on one another as a way of achieving the goal, which, for me, is selflessness and feeling that there is ‘something more,’ something far greater and more wonderful than my limited self. Yet I know that I am part of the greater, ‘the more’ for which I seek. I want to know myself as an intimate part of ‘the more.’ I want to get beyond my limited self and reach out to others in my life. It’s hard to explain simply, and I’m not sure I understand it myself yet, but anyway, I have a sense that I want to keep chipping away, daily, whatever will hinder me from being able to see myself as a part of the ‘something more’.”