Key Skill and Ability Developed on the Spiritual Path

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Most of us on the spiritual path are fascinated by the mystical abilities and see them as key milestones. This fascination causes us to overlook the natural benefits that grow right in front of us and are truly more beneficial for our happiness. We fail to see that the most important skill that we harness from our spiritual practices is our observation skills. This is because the skill leads to the ability is to see reality or to see the world at it really is, rather than being deluded by the illusions which the world or Maya spurns.

The media nowadays promotes wealth and power. Imagine what will happen if we just show our children movies of teenagers enjoying drugs and alcohol and then prevent them from seeing the suffering the intoxicants causes after they high wears off. Drug pushers would want that. It would be disastrous.

Similarly, we often see the positive side of wealth and power but we often fail to see the pain and struggle that One must go through to obtain them. We do not see the stain they place on our consciousness. Many wealthy parents complain about their spoilt children but cannot see how their pursuit for wealth and power contribute to that predicament.

The Ying-Yang symbol of Taoism or the Tai Chi symbol illustrates the nature of the world very well. It teaches us to seek balance in our life. The black circle in the white part of the symbol shows that in everything that is good, there is some bad and similarly, in everything that is bad, there is some good. The invasion of Tibet by China is a catastrophe but it also caused Tibetan Buddhism to spread throughout the world.

Our desires cause us to see only the positive aspects of what we crave for. This is clearly delusional. The antidote or balancing factor is our observation skills. It is like playing chess. We cannot just think of the next move but we also need to see the results of that move, that is, how the opponent will react. The world can try to delude us but with observation skills, we can look pass those delusions and then the World eventually morphs into our teacher.

Look closely and we can see that everything we desire in this world of duality has some form of suffering attached. A price must be paid and we must consider if it is worth it. Everything that we fear can also bring some benefit. The Covid-19 pandemic has benefited the environment and also brought us more family time. It is a bad thing but not completely so. Ultimately, as we observe our mind and body, we slowly see that it is a prison that binds us to worldly suffering. It is not a depressing insight but rather, a liberating one because we will no longer fear death. It is merely putting down a baggage (this life) and picking up a lighter baggage (next life), if we have evolved spiritually. In this life, we just need to contribute to the world the best we can while slowly removing the stains we placed on our consciousness in the past. In doing so, our consciousness becomes lighter and brighter and will eventually merge into God consciousness.

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