In working with spiritual ideas it seems to me that we need to both elaborate and distill essential ideas and beliefs.
We need to elaborate them by teasing apart and ‘unpacking’ apparently simple statements to explore their depth and allow their potential to blossom like flowers. And yet we also need to distill all the teachings we receive, all that we read and come to know – to achieve clarity, and to help steer ourselves through life. A while back I tried to make a distillation of various key ideas about life, and spiritual development in particular, that I’ve just unearthed in my notes and I thought I’d share them with you. If you can think of other ‘distillations’ I’d love to hear them:
You are meant to be here. Life is meaningful and your life has a purpose.
All religions and spiritual paths are leading towards the same goal. You can choose to follow an already established path, or you can choose to create your own path out of a combination of ideas and methods from different paths.
At the heart of the spiritual life is the search for wisdom and compassion. You need to actively seek these qualities. You can relax and have fun too, but you do need to work at the Quest.
Seeking personal fulfilment isn’t enough. Spirituality isn’t just self-serving – it’s about being of value to other people and the world too. You can make a difference.
These are critical times – the Earth and humanity face challenges they have never faced before. These challenges offer great potential for you to learn and grow and give. You don’t need to worry about these challenges, but you shouldn’t ignore them either.
The world is more mysterious and magical than you can possibly imagine. You are not alone.
None of this belongs to you, but that is very cool.
You are whole and you are free. Only sometimes you think or feel you are not.
You are the creator of your destiny. The more you understand about how life works the more you can be of use to yourself and others.
You create your reality, but other people help create it too, just as you help to create their reality. We’re in this together.
Everything is connected.
You need to learn how to be focussed, and how to develop goals, and you need to learn how to let go, how to be open and relaxed and unattached.
Your heart knows. Deep down you know where you should be headed, and what you need to do. Spiritual practice can help you hear the still small voice of your heart so that you can follow your bliss.
You don’t need to wait to do any of this. Life isn’t a rehearsal. This is it. Be here now.