Leave it to Ram Dass to cut through all the BS and tell it like it is. This is what he had to say about why people like you and me read articles like this and listen to talks, day after day, month after month, year after year.

Why do we keep listening to spiritual lectures and reading spiritual books? It seems we need to keep saying it to ourselves, over and over again, until we finally hear.”

Isn’t that the truth? I know it is for me.

How? I listen to a Michael Singer talk on TOU.org for fifteen to twenty minutes every morning before I meditate. I also throw in a Ram Dass or Eckhart Tolle talk around once a week. One reason I do this is that it prepares me to get quiet inside for my meditation.

The repetition is all

But I also do it for the reason Ram Dass states: The repetition gets me closer to finally “hearing” the wisdom. And by repetition, I mean repetition.

Because Michael Singer hits on the same few points in almost every talk. Like what? Like we need to go inside to cure what ails us rather than look to the external world (job title, car, relationship status et al) for the answers.

Why are we not okay inside? Because we’ve held on to a slew of mostly bad experiences and they run our lives. They determine what kind of career we pursue, the kind of mate we’re attracted to and on down the line.

We are the consciousness, not the objects

And of course, he emphasizes that we are the consciousness that is aware of all the objects that we encounter. Objects like fabulous sunsets, milkshakes, thoughts about our boss and sour feelings about our ex. None of those are us, Singer teaches. We are the consciousness that is aware of those objects.

Those teachings, and more, Singer approaches from myriad angles, but it’s really saying the same thing. And yet I keep on listening. Over and over.

Ram Dass says we do this because with that repetition “…we finally hear.” I agree.

Repetition begets deeper penetration

But here’s my twist. What repetition does for me is allow this timeless wisdom to seep deeper into my being. The more I hear it, the deeper it gets. And the deeper it gets, the more it becomes a part of me.

There is one caveat to all this. We shouldn’t allow reading books, taking courses and listening to talks replace doing the real work. Like what? Meditating, working on being mindful throughout our days and letting go when our egos get stirred.

The tendency of many on the spiritual path is to place 80 percent of our efforts on the reading and learning and 20 percent on the work. That needs to be reversed.

The reason many of us fall into that trap is simple: Spiritual work can be hard. It’s far easier to put our feet up on the couch and read The Power of Now for an hour than it is to meditate for fifteen minutes.

The takeaway

But I’m with Ram Dass on this. We need to keep at the study part until it seeps deep into our being.

So keep reading. Keep listening. Keep watching.

And most important, keep practicing.