“One in a million are interested in this knowledge” -Swami Parthasarathy
World renowned guru, author and founder of the Vedanta Academy, told me this when I was organizing a lecture for him in the Detroit area several years ago.
“Whether there are three souls or three thousand, I will teach the same”, he told me.
His level of objectivity was beyond anything I’d ever encountered before. It was inspiring, daunting and nearly unbelievable.
As I continued to travel and study at his ashram near Pune, India, there was one particular teaching that seemed to resonate with the journey of personal and spiritual development.
The 1% increment is the difference between good and great.
. . .
I remember the lecture well. It was monsoon season and the rains where swift and created a raptured event outside the lecture hall.
Swamiji, as he is endearingly referred to, talked about what it meant to embark upon a spiritual journey and how early on in the quest, one can feel immediate satisfaction and great excitement.
He referred to an analogy of dry, parched land.
When land is completely dry and rain comes, the earth soaks up the water, as if it’s a bottomless pit. Then it becomes saturated. It refuses the water and flooding occurs.
It’s the same with a human—the spirit is parched and the quest for knowledge is great. There’s so much absorbed in the first few months and even years, that one continues to be excited and seek more knowledge and transformation.
Then, just as land does, humans becomes saturated.
There’s seemingly no more room for teachings.
Soaked. Full. Feeling like the spark wore off, it’s the perfect time to become distracted.
Distraction can lead to complacency.
The newness of seeking wears off. One may stop studying and meditating.
A false sense of “I’ve got it. I’m good” shows up and exploits the soul.
Old habits return. The quest finishes flatlined.
Yet, this plateau is the EXACT moment when we are required to become acutely aware to the presence in front of us.
It is the opportunity to ask critical questions of our own ways of being, doing and having.
The plateau isn’t real. It’s a framework for a 1% increment that is so profound and insightful—it leads to leaps and bounds in our own growth…
…that is, If we catch it.
Let’s face it—life is training us to expect a big breakthrough. Walking on hot coals, breaking boards, emotional moments of truth, forgiveness and transformation are often played out in personal growth circles worldwide.
All fascinating and all playing an important role.
Yet none as significant as the 1% that shows up quietly, ready to share a golden gem of wisdom.
This almost non-existent whisper of knowledge has the divinity to put all the puzzle pieces together, and it’s what most people miss.
If you are receptive to it and if you have the courage to see it, this steadfast observation will take you to new levels of inward greatness.
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. -Lao Tzu
How to embody the 1% that everyone else is missing?
#1) Make a conscious decision to be present. Not the type of ‘be present’ your yoga teacher tells you. The BE PRESENT that is using all the inner fuel you have to notice every moment as if it’s the miracle in front of you. (Because it is)
#2) Ask amazing questions of yourself! When you have the courage to ask yourself questions as to why you’ve created the life you have and what needs to happen to make it better—you’ll be inundated with golden gems of truth.
Alert: this can be sometimes painful, yet ALWAYS transformative.
#3) Never stop seeking the highest knowledge. Being in the information age brings about a great deal of stuff that is simply ‘noise’. It takes diligence and focus to know and understand the true teachings and to implement them in your life.
( I recommend The Fall of the Human Intellect)
#4) Stop following the herd. The herd will take you off a cliff. Avoid following others just because they want you to or because you feel inferior. Inquire as to the level of truth before you.
Constantly and consistently observe.
Here’s to your plateau. That place where you get supremely bored and want to go out and party it up all night long.
Yet the voice inside tells you to pause. Observe. Seek.
Here’s to the moment when you decide to be focused, to see it and to embody it.
Greatness is right on the other side.