Working to redirect to the true center is not easy; sometimes it can be extremely difficult. Somewhere in popular discourse, “ease” became a word that sat next to “spirituality”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First of all, the question needs to be “easy” for whom? If “spirituality” is a lifestyle driven by concepts and ideals, then “our small self” does have an easy time of it. The ideals are the driving force to remain in the head and emote an effusive expression of those ideas. Next we ask, what is easy? The “what” of “spirituality” is an imaginative modification of the mind, which then remains focused on “ideals” and assures us of our righteousness and clarity. Our surety lasts until we hit the rock of reality and hurt like hell, and we lose our “sweetness” and “spirituality” completely.
Hopefully, we then search for real spiritual practice and are lucky enough to find a good practitioner and teacher. Once we have applied ourselves to true spiritual practice, we will see the error of ideas and ease.
When we realize that true spirituality is not idea-based, not emotion-based, not personality-based, not energy-based, we are then approaching the “whom”. The appearance of ease disappears and the confrontation and hard work become clear. As we continue down this path, we will see the value of hard work. We will understand how little we understood before, and we will want to delve deeper into the true practice—which, though not easy, will remove our pain and misery.
Getting the outside world to change is not the goal of practice. If we align ourselves properly, we will see that what must change is how we approach the world, though the world itself may not change at all. We will just relate with it differently, which will make all the difference to us. Our job is to change us. Our job is to remove our ignorance, to remove our attachment to the ephemeral centers of life, and return to our true center in the Heart. Remember: if you can perceive something, it cannot be you. You are the true perceiver. The small self cannot be us, and we should know this because it is not self-illuminative. Sometimes the mind appears to be us, and sometimes we are aware of witnessing it. We are the perceiver; we are never the object.
So when we think we are practicing and we are “sweet” and “nice”, look out. We are probably centered in an idea. In its fickleness, the mind will move on from that center to a new, more attractive center. None of these is who we are; they are just a bunch of words we have brought together to fool ourselves. We are locating ourselves in an ever-changing vehicle. Not until we let go and turn to the hard, disciplined work of real spiritual practice will the light of Grace shine and guide our effort in the right direction. Then we will rest in our true nature. Remaining in our true center no longer will be hard work; it will be just what we do and are. We will be riding the horse in the direction it is going, Home.
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