As someone walking the spiritual path, have you ever felt that you have reached the stage that feels like – No Man’s land or Trishanku?  Not sure if anyone else called it that, but it feels to this seeker, I am sure some of you have faced it. It has happened a couple of times and I felt to share. 

To whom this may apply – Probably any seeker, a householder, who is consciously trying, to make progress on their spiritual journey.

In the beginning, you have an urge to come out of the cycle, feel an urge to find deeper meaning and purpose, get an understanding of spirituality, and start following a path.

You lose interest in the mundane, the regular social gatherings are of little interest. By God’s grace – you may have largely overcome some of the pulls of – money, and it no longer binds you. You know it is essential for maintaining a basic lifestyle, but you are not chasing it.  For some, it may be overcoming lust or jealousy.

So you move away and focus on the spiritual practices. You have found a Guru also who is self-realized and you are home.

In chess, the opening game is well-studied and so is the end game, and both are relatively easier to learn.   It is the middle game that baffles many and definitely me.

What am I feeling these days?

A) Feeling of guilt at times while raising children

You have overcome the fear of “What will others say” to a large extent, but when the closed family members feel your spiritual practices may mean you are not doing enough towards your children. It is also your own mind, which is feeling guilty too. Certain outcomes are not as per expectation, and you want to control that.  

This one is hard, as you really know you reduced your social outings, and that has impacted all in the family.  For example –  Seeker doesn’t enjoy watching a movie, or TV,  which means the children also are raised in a different environment.  

Yes, one may share a balance between your duties & spirituality but it turns out to be hard for me.

When I was focused on building the last business, I ignored everything else. Just maintaining all my focus on it was the only way I knew to move forward. If I am doing too many things then it means I haven’t found my deeper calling yet. When I do, I often leave everything else.

But a key understanding which I got from my last experience was that focusing on just one thing meant –  I missed out on a few other things like – family time, investing in a uniform way, etc. 

I also learned and imbibed this, which I agree with 100%

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life — think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

B) Can I balance – Seva and Sadhana?

You have been working on service activities, but somewhere over time, you have realized that this is also a chain.  

No amount of service can cure the world of its pain, but you keep doing your bit.  Am I missing out on doing enough Sadhana? 
Yes, I have understood that I need to do Seva as if it is a Sadhana. I have tried, but so far not succeeded well.
What is the purpose of my life, that divine mother has for me?

C) Two-step forward, one step back (and at times two), syndrome – 

You are doing your practices to be mindful, kind, and truthful, and reach a stage and then everything has plateaued. At times you lose your anger, and use sharp words and it appears you have become the old self.  You feel sad. You know your Guru has taken on your karma, so you feel even worse.

Seeker knows that many of his actions are pleasure-seeking, and some of his ways of reacting are completely mindless. 

Some he is finding hard to get over, and another set is his lazy mind and those leftover desires that consume him. 

D) Reduction of Interest & Intensity

You did devotional practices and in the beginning, it was great, and now somehow the mind is chattering more. The bhava is not there, or not enough.
Or are you being self-critical, and you need to just continue?  Yes, probably so. The mind will always make excuses, you carry on with your practices. 

You are in the middle game of spirituality, and you are torn.  Who knows it is the start game, and the mind is calling it the middle to make you feel happy. You know you can’t go back, as that is not the reality.  You know the only way is to move ahead, but sometimes you wonder, will I reach the other end of this life? 

E) Is Realization possible in this very life?

One wants to achieve realization in this very life. Is it even possible?  

Om Swami ji shared here (24:20 mins onwards) that upon looking at his past 100 lives, he wasn’t able to find any incident where he caused grief to anyone knowingly. (He said he needed to do 65 years of Tapas, and he had to go through 4 months of tough experience at Naga baba’s ashram to accelerate his path. He also said, he comes and goes at will. So, he is a realized soul and his Tapas of 21+ years in this birth was for showing us the way )

Is self-realization even possible in this or the next 12 lifetimes? 
Who knows? Should I care? All I can focus on is now, and maybe this is just mind chatter.  

Having expectations on the spiritual path – is it wrong?
So far I only know of one way to move forward – have goals and achieve them. What I am facing is a sign of an aspirant who is not firmly placed/clear in his thoughts and reached a plateau.   Scripture also says, first you have desires, and then you turn the desire towards God’s realization, so it is gradual.

At times, you feel you are in No Man’s land.  You made progress but have not reached the other side.  Now you have plateaued & you are not making progress.  You just can’t go back, as old life doesn’t excite you.

What is the other side? I don’t know. I am not at complete peace with myself, that is all. Many things coming at the same time.

Was I trying to make too much rapid progress, or maybe took it too easy to fall back many steps?  A bud, if unfolded too quickly, will crush itself.  You cannot fold it back too.

Oh, the note shows the seeker still has many of the vices left – ego, attachment, expectations, and a few big blind spots.  Made some progress but not enough. True that.  For sure, when he looks at this note later, it will all sound so trivial, but such is the nature of exponential clarity in the journey, with what is maturity in life..

These are just the unfiltered thoughts of a seeker.  Some questions were asked, some implied, and most for his self-reflection. He needs to find his way. No other way.  No, Guru can’t walk the path for him, the seeker has to do it himself.  Will share someday as the seeker gets more clarity. 

ps: I pray may the Guru’s guidance be upon the seeker(s), and dispel these clouds.
pps:  Updating this post.  Thanks for all the responses. 
Note to self – Wake up – O Self, this weakness does not suit you.
There has been distinct guidance in dreams, or other communication the last few days, as I was feeling low.
One answered the question – What do you stand for
In another,  it reminded me that I will get there, whatever the divine mother has planned for me. 
Another showed Swami Ji walking along with me, and asking me how I was doing (and using my nickname to address me).
ppps: Further analysis revealed the root cause – (A), (B)  – an issue of Balance vs Single Pointed Focus, (C), (D) – Lack of Discipline, (E) – An anxious  fleeting thought.