Blue Dragonfly

Welcome back to our conversation about creating a unique spiritual path, one that is right for you.  Personalized.  Customized.  How is it going?  What challenges have you encountered, what surprises?  Have any excuses surfaced, any confusion?  What do you want to celebrate about this process of self-discovery?

Like this blue dragonfly that I happened to catch with my cell phone last week, a spiritual path can seem somewhat illusive initially.  Little more than a speck of color with wings. 

But if you keep looking, keep trying, you will begin to see a path in the wilderness of life.  One that inspires you to keep going.  One that feels compelling.  Like a rare bird you must follow with abandon!

Specifically, so far, we’ve talked about selecting two “big” questions to focus on.  We’ve also talked about spending time with nature … in silence, with a journal available for taking notes.  Time that allows you to go beyond mind chatter (the habitual sequence of thoughts most everyone suffers from); time that is free of expectation and desired outcome, in particular.

Do you need more knowledge?  Is more information going to save the world, or faster computers, more scientific or intellectual analysis?  Is it not wisdom that humanity needs most at this time?

But what is wisdom and where is it to be found?  Wisdom comes with the ability to be still.  Just look and just listen.  No more is needed.  Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you.  Let stillness direct your words and actions.  ~ Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

This being the last post on this topic (for now, anyway), I want to look at the third step.  Again, this is a condensed explanation (something short and simple and relatively easy) for charting a spiritual course that is meaningful to you.

  • Let simplicity open this door in your life.  

So if you’ve started to tap into something besides habitual thought, started to go beyond ego and mind polarities, started to discover the peace of “nothingness” … what’s next?

See if you can bring your spiritual path into your daily life even when you’re not focused on spirituality, per se.

Here are just a few ideas to help you get started … but remember, this is all about you finding your unique spiritual path.

Find the courage to follow your intuitive guidance.  Insights that come to you during periods of reflection.  For example, if others in your world think you should be “doing” … you know that “being” is more critical to your spiritual well-being.

Focus on developing a stronger “spiritual connection” with friends and family.  A spiritual connection can be nurtured no matter how infrequently you visit with someone.  And it has nothing to do with buying a plane ticket so you can sit face-to-face in someone’s living room.  That can be nice when feasible, but sometimes, out of habit, when we are in the physical presence of friends and family, we fall back on old times.  We fail to acknowledge the growth and change within ourselves, and are unable to stay “true” to our more recent insights.  It can feel like ghost-walking, playing outdated, conditioned roles that have little to do with “today.”

And true caring, if it exists, will flourish whenever acceptance and attention and awareness are the focus of a relationship.

Another idea for bringing your spiritual growth into plain view is to talk openly about your evolving internal landscape.  Some will get it; many will not.  But, at least, you are being true to your inner world.  If you are feeling more peaceful, more content, more inspired … share that with others.

You must be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

If you are less and less interested in the external world and its false pursuit, share that with others.  If you are no longer invested in faster, better, more, but looking for a life that is spiritually rewarding, share that.

Whatever it is that is real for you today, per your spiritual path, that is the self others will want to get to know.

If they insist on you being the person you were 20, 40, 60 years ago, gently return to the present tense.  The wise words of Oliver Wendall Holmes come to mind: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us.”

Have you actualized your spiritual work,
made the evolution of your inner world visible? 

  • If you practice meditation or yoga, take time each day for silence, and become attentive to your breathing, you will be well on your way to discovering your spiritual essence.

Remember the blue dragonfly during moments of doubt. 

I love their simplicity.  Light and colorful, with large eyes
and transparent wings, they are tiny works of art.
And we are all works of art. 

I hope this 3-part series on creating a unique spiritual path has been helpful and interesting.  And thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts; this is a vast topic that I may return to in the near future.  Posts in this series: Spring Shadows, Your Inner Mystery, Blue Dragonfly.

Blog posts by DazyDayWriter @ work in SunnyRoomStudio: all rights reserved.

Your Inner Mystery

This continues our conversation about creating a unique spiritual path.  One that is right for you.  One that challenges, yet inspires.

Last week (the first of three posts on this subject), we looked at “how to begin” if you feel uncertain in this regard.  I also covered the importance of going beyond the “masters” to find your own inner mystery.  It can feel daunting to imagine this possibility.  After all, we’re talking about people like Gandhi, Buddha, Deepak Chopra, Eckahrt Tolle, Elizabeth Lesser, Wayne Dyer, Gary Zukav, Lao Tzu, Thoreau, Whitman, Neale Donald Walsch, Rumi, Tagore, Osho, Caroline Myss, Thich Nhat Hanh, Kalil Gibran, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dalai Lama, Thomas Moore, Joseph Campbell, Shakti Gawain, Harold Kushner, Basho, Stephen Cope … to name only a few.  I’m sure you have many other favorites to add to these names.

Yet, Matsuo Basho’s advice is clear: 
Don’t follow in the footsteps of the old masters.
Seek what they sought.

But, for now, let’s say you have taken the first step, you’ve committed to a spiritual path in some form.  Something that requires practice, spiritual discipline, and daily attention.  You’ve realized that being “religious” is different from being “spiritual.”  And you understand that you are life … that you are here as an “expression” of something beyond our planetary home.  A higher power.  A universal force.  The source.  Maybe you decided to pick out two special questions to focus on (as a beginning) or maybe you didn’t get quite that far yet.

  • So now what?  How do you proceed?

Know the whole world is nothing when it is compared to knowing your own inner mystery of life. ~ Osho

Spend some time with nature.  Watch the light that dances among the leaves; listen to a strong breeze; gaze upon a garden of blooming iris.  Don’t “think” about anything, in particular.  See what bubbles up to the surface.  Jot it down in a journal you are dedicating to your spiritual path.  If nothing comes, try again.  Be patient.  Let the absence of thought generate new ways of experiencing the world.  Allow your sense perceptions to really “see” the tree.  Or smell the air.  Maybe your sense of hearing can help you connect with your deeper self.  Bird song.  Rustling branches.  Silence.

Try to do this as often as possible.  See if nature can urge you onward.  See if you can discover a more peaceful essence within, a part of you that isn’t even remotely concerned with the daily drama of life.  Something that feels alive yet eternal.  What is there when you find a way past mental distraction, petty annoyances — life on the surface?

Do you sense a vibrant presence?  

Remember that no one can take this journey for you.  No one can chart a spiritual course for you.  This is your path — your moment.

Soon you will feel compelled to spend time like this on a regular basis.  You will seek the inspiration of nature.  You will savor silence.

And your spiritual path will be launched, taking shape.  Coming to life within.

Finding your inner mystery, your peaceful essence, allows you freedom from the world of “form” … from an external world that will always fall short.

Let me know how it goes.  And, again, if you are already well along this path … please share with others some of your thoughts and experiences.  Encouragement is always a good thing.

Blog by DazyDayWriter @ work in SunnyRoomStudio: all rights reserved.

Spring Shadows

For the rest of May (the next 3 blog posts), I’m going to focus on the idea of a spiritual path.  Your very own.  One you have customized for yourself based on — your lifestyle, your challenges, your opportunities.

Don’t follow in the footsteps of the old masters.  Seek what they sought. ~ Basho

Yes, it can be tempting to follow in the footsteps of spiritual masters (there are many to choose from), but to really grow in the spiritual sense, we have to find our own unique path.  We have to create our own life wisdom. But it seems many people wonder exactly how to do that.  Feeling uncertain, the course of least resistance, is to do nothing.  Let’s assume, though, that you want to work past uncertainty.  You want to find your very own spiritual voice.

Start with two questions that intrigue you.  Not things like what to have for dinner or what to wear tomorrow, but deeper questions about life, death, the universe, and so on.  And after you have satisfied your curiosity by reading what others have to say about such questions, develop your own theory.  Look within for intuitive knowledge.

Maybe you’ll want to meditate on those questions.  Write about them.  Dream about them.  Give the process time.  And don’t give up until you feel you have exhausted your search.  It may not seem like much, but it’s a beginning.  Go from there.  Pick out yet another question, and so on.

Soon you will be on your way to creating a spiritual path that has special meaning for you.  Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

So where will you begin on this inward journey?  And where will it take you?  Will you dare to look beyond your assumptions, your perceptions, to the deeper story of existence?

One thing to keep in mind is that a spiritual practice can be anything you want it to be.  But it does need daily attention in the form of a commitment to self to pursue a more enlightened path.  It probably won’t work if you sit back and think, “hmm, I already know all there is to know about life.”  Really?

in the spring breeze
already casting shadows …
irises

~ Issa, 1810

Spiritual growth is not something we ever master or complete.  That’s my guess.  So forge on, no matter where you think you are on this path.  Stay open to ideas or to that sense of “knowing” that is at your core.  Explore what you think you know.  Dig deeper into the mysteries of life.  After all, what could be more important?

And if you’re already well on your way to creating a spiritual path for yourself, maybe you have some helpful hints for others who are eager to move in this direction.  Maybe you are willing to share some things about your spiritual journey and how it has made a difference in your life.

Dare to move beyond your comfort zone this month of May.  Dare to make your spiritual growth a life adventure that inspires you each day.

Good luck, we’ll return to this topic next Friday.  Until then, have a good week!  And Happy Mother’s Day to all.  ~ Daisy

Blog posts by DazyDayWriter @ work in SunnyRoomStudio: all rights reserved.