Spirituality is not a mental road, we enjoy our progress itself without any plans or expectations. We meditate following our aspiration and love without an idea of pursuing liberation and illumination.
In the spiritual journey there are no uniform rules for all; each of us has to find his own rules. Spiritual life is not an austerity, but definitely a discipline. We are not looking at others, we listen from within to balance between outer life and inner practice. On the personal level, we build up a temporary harmony, without any self-criticism or suppression of our nature and then… move forward in continuous self-transcendence.
“When man promises a higher future to God,
God removes the lower present from man.”
—Sri Chinmoy (11,054.)
Of course, being members of a spiritual community, we have to follow the overall regulations approved by the Master.
Meditation silence is never judgmental to us. It is a loving and transforming internal space above moral, religious, cultural or any other boundaries. Even amid daily activities we may feel a welcoming inner space beckoning us.
“In the world of silence,
No outer law is welcome.”
—Sri Chinmoy (25,358.)
Unfortunately, in the beginning, the mind is not ready to remain steadily empty and practice silence alone. It should be occupied by some inspirational readings, disciplines, performances, etc. So, nothing is wrong with following a path of a disciplinary practice without being too attached to the ideas… where your heart belongs. This helps to keep our aspirations and beliefs high enabling us to have moments of silence. Yet, as soon as silence is near we need devotional silence most… sometimes even without any other disciplines. This is not a call to abandon your spiritual community or other practices you like but just a note that nothing stands even close to silence.
“I have been a seeker and I still am,
But I stopped asking the books and the stars.
I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”
In the beginning, our aspiration is greatly mixed with ego. Let us do our inner work and serve others unconditionally out of our inner oneness with them. Such service is an extension of our meditation. Meditation silence and service will be crushing ego and releasing our inner self.
“Till man destroys “self” he is no true friend of God.”
“Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.”
“When you lose all sense of self,
The bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.”
Such transformation of human nature in meditation and service is unavoidable. In silence we are losing our ego, our old nature is dying and a new divine entity is taking birth. It is an unavoidable part of the evolutional journey, difficult to bear but always liberating. It helps if we go with purity, simplicity, stamina and balance.
“It takes enormous courage
To have implicit faith In God’s outer operations.”
—Sri Chinmoy (00,816.)
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”
We can’t underestimate importance of being happy for spiritual practices. The happier we are the easier we find to meditate. Whereas, being unhappy and having loaded mind we locking ourselves in the mind.
“Ignorance-night and wisdom-light
With equal happiness course through me.”
—Sri Chinmoy (5,579.)
While on the way, we do not waste our time on mental theories, criticism, oppressing our nature, comparing/competing with others, involving ourselves in self-imposed responsibilities, etc. All these do not add to our progress-joy. Make it simple, soulful and give silence priority.
Silence has the capacity to give you everything.”
—Sri Chinmoy (37,218.)
Smooth life, ‘vital immobility’, emotional balance, outer dynamism including regular athletics are very helpful for our substantial inner progress. In daily life, we will make no mistakes just by being normal and following common sense and our conscience.
“Try to have a smooth sail across your life-river
— Never force yourself”.
—Sri Chinmoy (27,534.)
No need to mimic or follow each other; everyone’s path is unique. We get inspiration and encouragement from others and follow our inner self.
“It’s your road and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you,
But no one can walk it for you”.
Regulated physical exercises release the flow of vital energy and make our internal concentration easy and sharp. Also, Ayurvedic food, Hatha Yoga are supportive. Some natural herbs/foods – wheatgrass juice, turmeric, ginger, kefir, fermented food and other things – do have beneficial properties for health. BUT, let us not make spirituality cheap by thinking that some external means can replace meditation*. The real shortcut is a devotional silence indeed.
Of course, no one denies that vegetarian food, a proper lifestyle and other small things are undoubtedly good for our inner progress. We love all these but they are microscopically small to be of the same importance as meditation silence.
“Meditation is the only ticket
That the higher worlds accept from us.”
—Sri Chinmoy (29,133.)
We respect life. It is evolving from darkness to light. We do not look down on anyone or anything and love the world the way we love our inner self.
– Earth is God’s Body.
Be extremely careful and soulful.”
—Sri Chinmoy (26,316.)
* Note, substances cause our consciousness distortion but they can never replace aspiration or speed up our mind-illumination or heart-liberation. Some psychedelics may damage our subtle body irreversibly. Also, prolonged use of substances like Ayahuasca may suppress the natural body synthesis of vitally important biochemicals. So, substance approach in spirituality is a sheer misconception. Err is human.