Dear Francis, I very much appreciate this possibility to ask you questions. I would like to ask a question that is seldom addressed by spiritual teachers, but what still seems to be very much part of the human condition. I am 50 years old and I feel that is tiring to be in this physical body. The body and the nervous system seem to limit how much awareness and joy I am able to experience. It is also frustrating to experience that I don’t have the energy to do all the things that I would like to do. I am not ill, but I just feel this tiredness and limits of the body and the nervous system. (I have tried to take reasonably good care of the body by healthy nutrition and exercise. So that is not the issue.) Sometimes I have seen 80 or 90 years old people full of joyful presence in spite that they are in a diseased and frail body. They seem to be very transparent; the spirit is flowing through them. My first priority is to wake up totally, but still I would very much like to experience more joy and aliveness while inhabiting this body. What would you suggest? Thank you in advance.
I understand your concern, but it is at the very root of your problem. There is a paradox about the experience of joy and aliveness while inhabiting this body: it manifests spontaneously the moment we are not attached to this body. Similarly, we truly enjoy the world the moment we are not attached to it. The paradox we are facing is that we cannot pretend we are not attached to the body, the world and the pleasures they offer if we are in act very much attached to them.
However, the very fact that you are asking this question shows that you have begun to realize that they cannot deliver the happiness you seek. This understanding may create an apparent state of indifference which can be misconstrued as a lack of enthusiasm and aliveness, whereas in fact your enthusiasm has started to shift away from the world towards the Presence which is the reality of your experience.
My advice to you is to follow your enthusiasm, your interest, wherever it takes you. Enjoy your freedom, preserve the freshness of your love. Even if your interest takes you apparently away from so-called spiritual activities, the spiritual activity I am recommending in your case is to be extremely attentive at every moment to whatever it is you really want to do in this very moment, to wherever it is you want to be in this very moment, not later, but in this very moment. Be with the spontaneity of your real desire. Don’t follow this or that object, but follow instead your heart’s interest step by step, from moment to moment. You will be surprised to see where it takes you!