What is the point of “spirituality”? RADICAL TRANSFORMATION…

Essentially, we turn to spirituality because we want to change. Often people are drawn to spiritual interests, beliefs, and practices because there is some aspect of their lives that they are finding difficult and they somehow intuitively feel that the solution to their problem may well be a spiritual one. So they want to see a change and they feel that if they engage some form of spiritual belief or practice, or religious Tradition, they may actually realize the change they are seeking.

But sometimes, even after you have taken up a spiritual practice or belief of some kind, you may feel you are not really changing  much or experiencing much of anything in a different way. In that case, there may be several things going on….. It could be because you’re not practicing often enough, or perhaps you are practicing TOO much, or not earnestly enough, or maybe you simply need to try a different practice. If you’re feeling that, “I have tried this whole spiritual thing and it just doesn’t work…..at least not for me.”       Instead of becoming discouraged and just throwing in the towel entirely, you might ask yourself a few pertinent questions……..like…..”Why did I take up this practice in the first place? What did I hope to gain from this practice? Was I looking for a deeper peace in my life or more wisdom? Was I looking for a way to become a kinder, more compassionate person? Or was I looking for a quick fix…..an easy way to somehow magically escape all my difficulties?” It is important for us to have some understanding of what is motivating us in all that we do. And in the area of spirituality, it is important to realize that it is not about escaping the difficulties of human existence or even escaping the human condition altogether. It is about having tools that help us navigate the difficulties of the human condition with a little more skill and grace, wisdom and compassion.

I believe with all my heart that spiritual practice is the way to experience the change of radical transformation…..radical transformation on an individual level and even on a collective or societal level.

But it is important to realize that when you take up a spiritual practice it doesn’t really create something new in you or give you something that you somehow lacked before…..it simply helps you get more in touch with energies and forces that were ALWAYS within you, but that you simply were not in touch with before.. If you put your attention on spiritual practice and make it an essential part of your ordinary day, each and every day, you will gradually begin to experience small changes in your  life from the inside out.

You should feel good about those inner and outer changes and feel like you are becoming a better person and bringing a more helpful presence into the world around you because of it.

As you begin to get in touch with qualities of heart that are already within you, even though you may have been ignoring them for quite some time, these qualities within you begin to show on the outside at some point. It begins to not only be your personal inner experience but it begins to have an effect on your outer life and on the people and things that make up your day to day existence in the world.

Spiritual practice is a deeply personal experience. It will open up your mind and your heart and bring you to eventually experience more of who you really are and always have been all along. It puts you in touch with the universal qualities of heart like Loving-kindness, compassion, joy, peace, wisdom…….But the way these heart qualities are expressed in your life will be utterly unique and bear a very specific and particular”stamp” on them, or flavor to them, or a unique “fragrance” that expresses your particular and personal presence in the world. In this sense, although spirituality and practice opens us to the universal sense of Self, or Christ Consciousness, or universal Awakeness, which transcends our individual personality…..spiritual practice gradually refines who you are on a personal level as well. All authentic and integrated spirituality helps you awaken to and express the transcendent dimension of who and what you are, but that transcendent reality is precisely seen and incarnated in the world in the particular form that we call “you”.

Eventually, the personal refinement and expression that happens in your life through spiritual practice informs all your interests and activities,what you talk about, where you live and work, the type of fun and leisure you engage in, what you find interesting, who you find interesting, what you think about, how you look at life, how you experience life, how you respond in life events, how you respond to people, places and things, how you understand “God” or Spirit, how you think about spirituality, politics, religion, how you see yourself and others…….. You begin to radically change in very practical ways.

In your P\practice of spirituality always be consistent, sincere and allow yourself to experience the change of radical transformation.

To be spiritual effects how you relate to the invisible, transcendent dimension of life, but, contrary to popular ideas about it, spirituality also helps you relate differently to the visible, finite aspects of life and the infinite aspects of life simultaneously. True spirituality never provides an escape hatch from life. Quite the contrary actually…Spirituality helps you face every challenge of life with courage and inspiration….There are many possible escapes in the world, but true spirituality is never about escape…it is about embracing ALL of life.

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It’s an adventure to be a  spiritual person. When you are truly committed to the totality of life and stop putting up walls that divide life up into separate compartments created by people in the name of nationalism, creeds, and dogmas, then you do not belong only to a particular race, or color, or religion or political view point, but to the entire human and global family.

In spirituality none of us escape the challenges or difficulties of life. They are just part of the deal! We carry within us the psychic and physical inheritance of the entire human race; all the conditionings of the collective are contained in each of us individually. And when we come to resolve these conditionings within our own hearts, we help to resolve them in the world around us, because we are not separate from the world around us.

Please see that true spirituality is not about withdrawing from human life and living, but bringing a fresh new approach to the act and art of living a fully human/divine life. being spiritual is not an escape and it is not an ego-centered activity of collecting occult and transcendent experiences as an end in themselves. We often talk about and explore spiritual inquiry, meditation and spiritual ideas about life in a very narrow, even narcissistic and selfish sense.

If we are seeking to achieve something that we can brag about or wear as a badge of honor that somehow makes us superior to others in our embrace of spirituality, we are simply transferring the ambitions of our insecure, dysfunctional egocentricity from the material arena of the phenomenal world to the spiritual realm as a form of ego self-aggrandizement. True spirituality is never a self-centered, ego-centric endeavor. It is always relevant and responsive to the challenges confronted by the rest of the world because one central aspect of spirituality is the realization that we are not really separate from the world at all..

There are many fascinating experiences to be had in life, one after another, after another. We can have these experiences through intensive meditation, or drugs, or sex, or other exciting adventures of various kinds, be they intellectual, artistic, physical, or even spiritual…But we can easily end up as nothing more than experience junkies…going from one  “experience fix” to another. And this form of spirituality is a popular commercial proposition. People trade in it, make money by offering to stimulate certain psychic powers or experiences in others. But in the end..it all simply turns into a spiritual roller coaster ride. It may be thrilling and interesting for awhile, but really does not bring about the personal or collective change we are so desperately seeking. And remember, when we finally get off a roller coaster we feel dizzy, a little nauseous and can’t quite seem to find our feet.

But true spirituality is a precious, scared thing, ad is not for simply gathering a fascinating collection of experiences, making tons of money, or for establishing a popular sect  or scene and gathering disciples.

If we play such ego games with our spirituality, we are actually attempting to prop up and protect the dysfunctional ego from the fire of radical transformation, from the transforming power of the truth. We are free to distract and entertain ourselves in this way if we like, but it’s no use pretending we are undertaking an inner revolution of spiritual transformation when we try to focus on simply collecting experiences or playing around with psychic powers. The spiritual journey is to set ourselves free from dysfunctional egocentricity, not to strengthen and support it in the name of “spirituality” or “enlightenment”.

Many of us work very hard to give a spiritual appearance to our lives. We seek to delve into esoteric mysteries or  to become emeshed in extra-sensory perceptions. But unless our being is set free from the tyranny of egocentric conditionings and is growing in the concrete manifestations of love, joy, peace, patience and kindness in out everyday lives, our so called “spirituality is not worthy of the name.

The desperate need of the human race is not the cultivation of psychic powers and special experiences. The need in this world is for mature, whole and healthy, happy human beings who are free of ego attachments, emotional imbalance and who are aware, attentive, sensitive, creative and fully alive and responsive as centers of active presence in the world.

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