The last few days when I’ve been either meditating or listening to one of Paramahamsa Vishwananda’s satsangs the same thought keeps popping into my head – “Get out of your comfort zone!”
Why? Because it is ultimately what will bring progress, moving forward and growth. Whatever your aim in life is, when you keep yourself confined to safe places (my house, my work), safe people that I know, safe spaces I venture to… well, it’s great for keeping grounded and it does help to have a routine too, because then you can plan your day and be effective. Sure. But if you don’t push yourself from time to time to go beyond sometimes and experience things that take you out of that comfort zone then how will you push your boundaries, how will you know what you’re really capable of?
As a spiritual seeker, I would say my aim in life is to be able to fully surrender to God and Guru. I know that attachments to desires and material things are a big obstacle on the way. And so I’m trying to slowly explore and self inquire what these attachments really are for me. What I’m coming to realise is that it’s in our “safe” places that our most subtle attachments to life lie. The big attachments, like house, car, etc. Those aren’t actually the problem for a lot of people who are seriously on the spiritual path. But these subtle attachments are dangerous because most of the time we aren’t even aware of them. For example, when you are at home, in your safe place, with just your family around, you can be totally yourself and feel totally comfortable, right? When you step outside, even to just go to the shops or visit a friend, that feeling isn’t quite there as much.
And then when you really take yourself away from this safe space or actually more often when you are forced to get out of this space for some reason to suddenly a very different situation and set of circumstances to your normal way of life, then you find yourself having to adjust and often even face challenges. But when I think about these times in my life, I realise that it’s those challenges and those situations and how I’ve faced them that have pushed me to delve inside for that inner strength that I didn’t even know I had! And realising I was able to overcome and even grow from the situation/challenge is amazing because it only serves to deepen my faith and trust in the Divine. So I would even go as far as to say that getting out of your comfort zone is basically necessary for spiritual growth!
Paramahamsa Vishwananda Himself has said how from a young age we build up all these fears inside of us and how much we are actually attached to these fears. He says this is why a person “build a certain cocoon around you which you called your comfort zone. And out of fear you don’t go out of your comfort zone. But that comfort zone.. how comforting is it? It is also poisoning you….but the soul have another comfort zone. And the comfort zone of your soul is freedom.”
Actually anyone who knows Bhakti Marga well and how this path is, knows that Paramahamsa Vishwananda often likes to put devotees in situations where they have to face their innermost fears. Where we have to jump out of our comfort zone and deal with things we would rather keep brushing under the carpet. And it’s not because He enjoys it. As a spiritual Master, as a Guru, He has to, because He has come here to pull us out of delusion. How else will we grow? How else will we discover the true self buried deep inside all of us?