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Friday, April 8, 2011: Seeking a Spiritual Life to Escape from Suffering

           I'm a big believer in not pushing a spiritual life, especially if you are reaching into other realities because a recent loss or trauma turned your world upside-down. That you turn to inner realities is a good thing. That you push to complete some course of action set out by others as a "spiritual path" is not.

          The process of spiritual cleansing or growth has been described as starting with a bucket that had years to develop sediment in the bottom. The water at the top looks pretty decent until you stick in a garden hose and turn on fresh water. Then you churn up lots of repressed, buried issues that turn the whole bucket murky again. With enough water the dirt eventually clears out. But until the water has a chance to wash away the dirt, things can look worse than when you started. Read this water clarity as emotional stability and you can see why I find no fault if one occasionally pulls back from daily mediations, rather than doggedly pushing forward.

          There is no rush on a spiritual path. Explore, open yourself to new ideas, pull back, and get your daily life in order. Then reach out again. Listen to your body and to your heart. That's what I would advise---listen to your body (when it needs to rest and let emotions stabilize) and to your heart (when it needs to reach out). Learn to be tender and forgiving toward yourself, to extend love and compassion to the pain within your depths.

          The real "trick" to a spiritual path is being willing to let loose of old attitudes and opinions, social and family conditioning, and just observe the truth in life. It isn't about gaining magical insights to fend off pain and suffering. It is about learning to be more authentic, more honest with ourselves and with others. The compassion, the purpose in our lives, the peace of mind---these develop in their own time, out of this process of learning to recognize the deepest part of our soul.

Posted on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

I need to read this every day. I love it!
December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKass

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