Wednesday, 1 April 2009
The Heart of Motivation
When I first came across teachings that talked about "generating the correct motivation" for doing a spiritual practice, I promptly harrumphed and moved on to the method. (In my defence, I was a young dolt then, but I know, I know.) More and more now, I find that Motivation can be considered one pillars of my Three Ms Model for happiness.
I saw something today somewhere on the web that said, the purpose of generating bodhichitta (compassion) is to ensure one does not fall into the lower paths. I think it is as simple as saying, if you use a spiritual technique with personal gain in mind, it is a contradiction in terms. Spiritual technique is designed to help you soften ego's grip. If your very motivation for using it is egoic in nature, then the chances of Rudrahood (demonhood) rather than Buddhahood are rather increased. This is ultimately why the Law of Attraction fails for some people, and why, paradoxically, the people who seek the power to manifest seldom turn out to be good manifesters, unless they do so out of a genuine wish to help others.
Thus, through the centuries, we have heard various exhortations, as follows:
Truth the Lord
Have an attitude of gratitude
Basically, they are exhortation to keep an eye on our motivations. Mind, even these can be turned into weapons of the ego. This is especially true if we "use", for example, "gratitude" so that we can get something. This can hardly be surprising - we are taught to say "Please" and "Thank you", but seldom are we taught to say it sincerely. Hence, we bring that same falseness, the same insincerity to our spiritual work. And get vastly different results. And then we wonder why.
As I said, God does not respond to Disney eyes. Check your motivation always.