Question: Should I remove myself from typical life situations where I feel pressured to chase money, be someone etc.? Are they holding me back? Is there a point where I have to let go of all of this? Should I avoid people who gossip, who pressure me to change, etc? Is there something I can actually do to help myself?

Changing one’s outer environment brings temporary relief from pressure and the predisposition to identify with form (namely certain thought patterns and body sensations). Unfortunately, it does not bring about a fundamental change in the seeker; as one’s inner environment stays with them wherever they go.

It is important to ask yourself this fundamental question: What do I really want more than anything, and am willing to give up everything for it? Is it unconditional peace, enlightenment that is undisturbed by any circumstance. Is it comfort I want or something else? There are no wrong answers. It is absolutely imperative to know exactly what you want and where your devotion already lies.

If it is unconditional peace, enlightenment, whatever one may call it; then surely it can not be conditioned in any situation and must be sought in every day normal life. If it is lack of pressure and stimulis that one wants, then removing stimulis may help temporarily but it will not satisfy completely as conflict will ensue with the parts of life that we marginalize.

Decide what you truly want and meditate on that and think on that. Associate with those who you feel have achieved that by reading, discussing, etc. This will change your inner environment and direct your intention like a laser beam. This will become your primary experience and the outer will become secondary. Over time the force of the “inner” will organically start to change the outer with seemingly no effort.

Your greatest assets at this stage are:

Laser like intention (clear vision of what you want). Do you really want to find the Source? Awakening requires turning inward which you are doing but ALLOWING THE OUTER TO GO ON UNIMPEDED. Nevertheless, directing all your energy towards your devotion to the question: who am I in spite of mind/body phenomenon? While deeply surrending all phenomenon to a symbolic benevolent all controlling force.

Absolute honesty with yourself. Whatever you do; do it so honestly and pure to your uncompromising base level intention. If your intention is abiding peace at all times and places; then you will learn how to have that and you will bring down grace to help you according to your intensity.This does not mean giving up your roles in life, it means doing them from a completely different internal space where whatever you do, you are thinking on the Lord of All constantly and wishing to merge with That. You will begin to see That in all things, times and places. Then the inner conflict is over because whatever you do outwardly has the same flavor inwardly: Intense devotion towards and love for the Final Cause which abides at all times and situations.

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