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Spiritual Practice

Posted by on January 24th, 2012 with 0 Comments

What does it mean to do Spiritual Practice? For most of us there is a very uneasy balance in our lives, we teeter on the edge of work and worry, enjoyment and irritation, comfort and fear. It’s difficult at times to know what’s important, we’re caught up and carried away by hurt, disappointment, frustration and resentment. We find ourselves awash with feelings of sadness, sorrow, isolation and loneliness. We are not alone, we all have these feelings, the key is to see our thoughts and feelings for what they are, to not make too much of them or get lost in them.

Spiritual practice is learning to see the bigger picture of who we are, who we all are, and to put into perspective the events in our life. When we are so absorbed in our own feelings, worries, fears and concerns that we feel overwhelmed, then we are in need of the bigger picture, we will benefit from having a better, or fuller, understanding of how things are, of who we are.

It begins with our ability to recognize the two realities of Ultimate and Relative. Day in and day out we are immersed in the relative reality of our life; getting ourselves up, dressed, fed and making it through our routine of a day. We don’t often reflect on the extraordinary confluence of effort and events that make this possible; the people, the equipment, the organization and cooperation of not only individuals and organizations, but of nature and materials that make our life as we know it possible.

We fail to grasp the underlying energy and dynamics, the care and concentration that allow us to simply put on a piece of clothing, let alone have mobility and the ability to communicate with people both near and at great distance. We take for granted the fact that the simplest act of picking up a newspaper or having a cup of tea has global implications.

How much of our time do we spend thinking about ourselves? How much of our time are we lost in our thoughts and feelings? And how often to we have the sense that we are different, somehow unique, that our thoughts and feelings are only our own? The sense of “me” and “mine” blinds us to the fact that we all have the same kinds of thoughts, the same kinds of feelings, that there is a natural integrity to the human condition that is the cause of an unbreakable unity between every living being throughout time and space.

This is the Ultimate reality that is always present, innately a part of who we are, what we do, the connection we have with each other that exists without our having to do anything at all. Our challenge is to be aware of this unity, our innate wholeness, without any break or separation from anything or anyone.

When we think of ourselves as different, special or unique, we create separation, we cause tension, conflict, even violence. When we are lost in our own set of issues, worries and fears we cut ourselves off from our natural bond, our link with salvation, freedom and joy.

When we are lost in our relative world of “self” and “other” we fail to take advantage of the way things are, the natural order of unity and wholeness. When our personal identity, role, title, image or concept of ourselves is paramount to who or what we think we are, we isolate ourselves, cause ourselves to be more worried, more fearful, more unhappy.

Spiritual practice allows us to live in balance, to be mindful of how things actually are, not how we’re making them up to be. Practice puts perspective into our lives, we can take care of our personal business without the heavy heart of worry and fear, knowing that we are in the loving embrace of spiritual and temporal benefactors, many that we have never met, who’s lives are dedicated to the peace, happiness and wellbeing of all.

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