This morning I was reading from Jack Kornfield's wonderful book, Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are. I've been focusing on the chapter titled," Spiritual Maturity." In it he writes:
"Fruit falls from a tree naturally when ripe. After due time in spiritual life, the heart, like fruit, begins to mature and sweeten. Our practice shifts from the green hard growth of seeking, developing, and improving ourselves to a resting in mystery. It shifts from reliance on form to a resting in the heart."
This is precisely where I find myself these days. To me, the world feels unstable and what's happening in it (caused by my fellow humans, of course) beyond comprehension. And Kornfield's words also give voice to where I find myself in terms of my spiritual life. I desire more than anything to live in the landscape of the heart. I pursued spiritual practice as a means of self-improvement for many years; to be more this or that. Today, spiritual practice for me is not much more than a sweet roadhouse, a place of awareness to drop into that promises no cure or answers, just rest.
Resting, as Kornfield affirms, not struggling. Not caught in fear and worry. Not lost in sadness or anger. Not imprisoned by apathy or hopelessness. Resting in the "heart-mind" as my teacher Ram Dass calls it allows the world to be its crazy self, but frees me from feeling crazy too.
Resting in this place of love and peace allows me to hold myself compassionately when I am shocked, saddened and frustrated by world events (or even the "unwanted" events that have presented themselves in my own little life). It enables me to hold others in my loosely mended heart so that I stay in touch with the suffering of others, yet not paralyzed by such hardship.
How do you get to the place of being able to rest in the heart-mind or "spiritual heart" even in the midst of adversity? You practice. And you dedicate yourself to intentional periods of practice, to Sadhanas, as often as you can.
The Sadhana I propose for this purpose looks like this: You sit, you breathe, you listen to all that arises, but then you set those thoughts and feelings aside briefly, just for a few moments, so you can remember your true nature (goodness, peace, calm, love); so you can get beyond ego-based living and the limited confines of your personality; so you can hold the drama of the world differently and, ultimately, be of good use in the repair of world.
You do a Sadhana like this as often as you can for as many days as you can until it becomes a habit. You do it anytime, anywhere. You may do it around certain themes, like compassion, love, or peace. In time, with dedicated effort, you'll begin to feel the events of the world roll out at your feet and discover that you're able handle whatever has shown up with grace.
Why is having even a short, 5-minute a day spiritual practice non-negotiable? Because it provides a path for you to follow when you're struggling to stay steady. A Sadhana is one very good way to stay sane amidst the chaos and craziness of life.
©2015, Janice L. Lundy
Join me for 31-days of inter-spiritual practice beginning Friday, January 1. "Holding the Light," a dedicated period of Sadhana will guide and companion you as you go deeper into your own spiritual heart. Learn how you can stay steady amidst the chaos of life in as little as 5-minutes a day. Harness your inner good for the good of all beings everywhere this January. Here's how.
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we are meant to live.
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Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.