It's Up To You

Religions are filled with prohibitions and Thou Shalt Nots that many observe as law. 

Yet even Jesus taught, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." In other words, there is a healthy amount of flexibility when it comes to the so called rules.

No doubt about it. If you are earnestly following any spiritual path, certain prohibitions necessary for your evolution, will be present in your life. It will feel "wrong" to lie, steal, lust after things and people, harm the environment, make certain dietary choices, wear certain clothes, and so on.

Observing prohibitions informed from within through intuition is fundamentally different than following the Ten Commandments just because they were written in the Bible.

Such internally-informed prohibitions become tools for your spiritual practice and, really, are more akin to creative restrictions than anything else.

There is nothing inherently holy about wearing the ocher robes of a Swami. There have been those who have achieved exalted states of consciousness in jeans and a t-shirt. It's just that the robes, for some, communicate a much needed message to the outside world to give this person a healthy amount of space, amongst other things.

You decide. You decide if it's best to be vegetarian or not. To live in a monastery or not. To meditate once or five times in a week. To pray or not. To fast or not. To be kind or not.

There is no right answer. There is no right and wrong. There is only what is right and wrong for you. And you can only learn that from yourself.

You will make mistakes. You will forget what you learned.

That is okay. There is no need to punish yourself. You need to make mistakes to motivate you to take the next step and the one after that.

Sometimes you are met with disasters and feel like you are being punished. Punishment is a purely human concept that does not exist in nature. What happens is that our choices, many of them unconscious and conditioned, can lead us into alarming, often painful situations.

Now, we have the opportunity to reflect on those choices with love and compassion and see if we want to continue to make them, or not.

Either way is okay. It's up to you.