One thing that has become apparent to me in this crazy life, is that when it comes to the “realisation of the Self”, time and space are irrelevant. What I mean is, that it matters not where you are in the world or what time of day it is, the Self is always just as it is. You can only awaken exactly where you are and nowhere else. Of course, it is always nice to go on pilgrimages and to visit holy sites or places of beauty in order to induce feelings of peace and oneness with the “all that is.” But ultimately, it makes no difference whatsoever.
I remember my own personal experience when I received the inner call to visit the ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba back in 2009. There I was, at “The Abode of the Highest Peace”, yet at every opportunity I would go to the internet cafe to check emails or see how my football team was doing. Ramana Maharshi used to say, that there is no point in going to the Himalayas to sit in a cave, when all you do when you are there is think of home. He would also say, that we sit at home thinking that it will induce realisation of the Self if we go to the Himalayas, but once we get there we spend all our time wondering what’s going on back home. It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, if we are not ready and the mind is over-active then it will prevent us from from experiencing our true state, which is pure Being.
My own personal environment is a constant reminder to me that I have some way to go before realising that I am already realised (by that, I mean having the constant direct experience that I am already that which I am seeking). The little town where I live gives me constant reminders of my own petty judgements and prejudices, which will have to be dealt with before I get any lofty spiritual ambitions.
I have come to the conclusion that the only really effective form of spiritual practise, is to “be still.” Even recognised and traditional spiritual practises, such as yoga and meditation, only induce a temporary awakened state. The practitioner must at some stage return to the world. Simply being still, seems to be the best way to connect with the inner silence; the infinite cave of wisdom, which is effectively “the Self.” Giving up all ideas of doing and achieving also allows the higher power to work through us.
The root of all our pain and suffering is that most of us are not human beings (or humans being), we are humans doing!