There are certain questions we need to ask ourselves constantly: Do I have public and private faces? Do different people get different versions of me? Can I be good without someone else being bad? Is how I act in line with what I profess? Am I seamless?
In order to be seamless, we have to have good boundaries. This seems like a paradox. But the truth is, when we are seamless there are clear and clean lines. We are not vague, losing our subject in objects around and within us; nor are we compartmentalizing ourselves and our lives. There is clear distinction between how we are, who we are, and who we are not. When we “adapt” to what is around us, we are just chameleons. If we stay true within the Heart and act appropriately, we are not losing ourselves and therefore have good boundaries. But that does not mean we do not care. Now we can really care, because we are present to both ourselves and others
If we compartmentalize, we cannot be human. We will then not feel what we need to feel and face ourselves or others. We cannot empathize when we practice cutting off from ourselves and others.
|Seamless (integrity / no gaps / whole)||Compartmentalized (partitioned into sealed segments / no integration)|
|Simpleton (unable to fit in / no modulation)||Managing life (in control / skillful / clever)|
Yet we choose not to be seamless, so that our small self can believe it is in control. We do that by setting partitions between different areas of our lives.
Partitions, dividing walls—we try to box in or quarantine certain behaviors we engage in or regions of our lives. The dividing walls have to go. My job is to facilitate the bringing down and burning up of people’s dividing walls. Unfortunately, too often people rebuild them. When people crack, however, walls have been breached.
I don’t know what people do outside my classroom. But when people enter the teaching room I can feel their dividing walls. What you keep within your various walls is not of interest to me. The walls are what is important; they need to dissolve.
If you bring down the walls, your hidden behavior is exposed, even to you. Then you have a chance to become seamless. The opportunity arises for you to face yourself and choose how you manifest at all times.
Dissolving our dividing walls takes commitment, effort, and a willingness to hear and absorb what our teacher reveals to us. An athlete or performer must be able to receive and appreciate constructive criticism; if he is seamless, this ability extends across his entire life. It is much easier, however, to get something and then go back to sleep. Many people trivialize what the teacher uncovers, so they can mitigate discomfiting truths.
A recent study in professional working groups reinforced the importance of seamlessness. When a professional group did not work, it was because they compartmentalized: they walled off their work from the rest of their lives and did not bring their humanity to the group. When they were seamless, willing to integrate their professional and personal lives, they worked well together.
Why, then, do we keep our compartments? Because we want independence, even from God. It doesn’t matter: we may know we will have to surrender—just not yet. But we will finally surrender because we are challenged long enough and are shown that protecting our delusion of independence was not the answer to anything.
In sādhana, we have to be seamless, We cannot compartmentalize. People have to work with me to bring down their walls. We do this together. The point is to turn the corner toward seamlessness. This in itself does not fix anything, but it does create the environment in which healing and fixing can happen. Which means a lot of hard work.
We resist becoming seamless because, by integrating everything we do and being transparent, we lose our sense of specialness. But what does it mean for us if that sense of specialness is unavoidably tied to secrecy?
|Secret||Transparent / open|
The practice I teach is not a secret. I do not teach it as a secret. It is readily available, but because people only see what they want to see, few see it, and it remains hidden in plain sight. Truth is always available, hiding in plain sight until we are ready to see it. When we are open, we will see what was always there.
For me, practice is daily life. It is seamless. No matter where I am, no matter who I am with, no matter how mundane the situation, I practice. So it is not a secret. It is not special or privileged. God is, after all, seamless, everywhere.
If you are seamless, you seem less, because you just are.
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