Inner Changes need Time, even in a Fast Food Culture – 18 Aug 11

Time

When people get to know that I have spent three years and 108 days in a cave, not in touch with anybody and fully away from the normal world, they are often astonished about the long time. They ask me how it was to be with myself for such a long and sometimes also if it was really necessary to go for that long. Hearing these questions I often have to smile and think that people nowadays don’t have patience. They want everything instantly, right now. But most things need time!

It is not really very surprising that people have such questions and thoughts. Look at today’s society, especially here in the West. Do people really have time for anything? They are in stress, they have thousands of things on their mind which they try to do at the same time or as quickly as possible and they rarely take time even for eating in peace or being with their family. There is a scheduled time which they spend on their body, maybe a few hours in the gym every week. Why would anybody really spend a longer time period doing something for their mind and soul?

You can read this accuse for today’s society everywhere: it is a fast food culture. Whatever it is you have to give, give it to me quickly. I don’t have time, my time is precious, just hand it over, now! This is not how spirituality, inner peace and a balance in body, mind and soul works. It cannot. People want everything instant. Instant relaxation, instant enlightenment, instant Samadhi. What they don’t realize is that everything takes time. Real inner peace is a process and does not come to you by pressing one button, like switching on the light or by taking a pill, like a pain killer. It is a process and you have to spend some time for it.

When I went into the cave, it took me three or four months to get used to being in the cave, to get tuned with the atmosphere, with the new rhythm of my life. The feeling of time and the memories of the time outside slowly faded and vanished with time while I repeated my mantras. The same process had to take place when I came out of the cave. Another change, again slowly and in a process that took months until my whole being was out of the cave again. I had spent a lot of time with myself and my God and of course I had gained a lot but now I had to put this into real life, adjust my life again to match what was going on outside.

It took me several months to make this big change into complete solitude without anything that distracted me. What you want is to make a change in the middle of distraction. You want to come into peace while the world around you is stressing you as always. You have pressure and want to come out of it with as little change as possible. Let me tell you, you will need to make a change and it will take time. Inner changes usually don’t happen overnight. If you consciously want to make a change, you need to actively work on it. It doesn’t work instantly. There is no button, no pill, no magic spell. If you want to bring more love into your life, you need to remind yourself in each conversation that you have and with each thought or feeling that you have to fill it with love. If you want to have less stress in your life, you need to teach your body and mind to calm down and take things easy. Relaxing has to be learned, too!

Whatever you do, take your time to do it properly. It doesn’t matter if you feel at first as though you did not succeed. You did not fail and progress will show if you keep on working on it. Think positively and realize that you have enough time for anything you wish to do. Do it in peace and with patience.

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  1. dita

    I am not astonished about a time you spent in the cave but about a love you recieved from your family who supported you to do this. They kept you in a safe place, fed you every day without asking any questions. And when you came out the society did not consider you mentally sick for distancing for such a long time. This is possible, only in India, I guess.I was speaking with a Sufi teacher and she said in EU there are no real places and traditions for long retreats.

  2. Deniz

    I also love having a lot of silence, peace, and alone time in my life. Also I’ve noticed that having plenty of silence in my daily life makes music and pleasant sounds of nature all the more enjoyable when I hear them. I really can’t relate much to the “normal” folks these days who are so hyper, always running but often seem like they are really getting no where. In fact, all the running seems often to lead them to be stressed out and anxious, and all the extra problems that come with that. To me they can seem like they are running on treadmills, running and running but staying in the same place. Many people keep doing things out of sheer restlessness, always have to be going somewhere or doing something, or even jumping from one romantic relationship to another, or buying more and more things that they may not really be able to afford, because they never learned to sit still and enjoy the moment. It’s fine to do things, but if they’re done out of restlessness and inability to be still, maybe they are not really worth doing, and time would be better spent learning how to be quiet and still.

  3. Emily

    This is very true! Spiritual growth takes a lot of time to evolve. People want to rush their growth so they can heal quickly, feel satisfied quickly, or be happy quickly. The truth is, it can take multiple lifetimes to learn certain lessons in spiritual growth! Be patient with yourself and live in the moment. You can’t hurry your growth along so you might as well enjoy the scenery along the way.

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