Two days ago I wrote about Shaktipat – the moment that we are awakened out of our ordinary existence and called upon the path of spiritual exploration, growth, healing and transformation. What happens after Shaktipat? GOOD HARD WORK – that’s what!!!
I want to thank my friend, Heidi for sharing the following quote from her spiritual teacher that she posted in response to Sunday’s blog on Shaktipat (spiritual awakening) and the path to enlightenment:
“Both my masters so thoroughly enbodied Sri (the most resplendent aspect of the Divine) that is would be easy to write off their accomplishments to a blessed birth or to the teachers that guided them. Don’t kid yourself. The heights they scaled reflect the sheer force they generated day after day through practice. Yes, you reap what you sow. Remember: practice is how the teachings breathe their sublime light into you.”
Amen. Amen. Amen. Spiritual transformation does not end with Shaktipat. In fact, Shaktipat, while frequently dramatic in its experience is perhaps the smallest and most insignificant portion of the spiritual journey. We might have a moment of sublime awakening, but then what? The image that springs to my mind is the perception that somehow the moment of Christian baptism or the moment we profess “Jesus to be our personal Lord and Savior” the slate is wiped clean and we are now and forever saved. Enlightenment does not end with a profession of faith, a sacred ritual or shaktipat. These personally fulfilling moments are only the beginning. Sound spiritual growth, healing and transformation only come about because of hard work and diligent practice.
The foundation of Spiritual growth, as we are reminded by Heidi’s teacher, is PRACTICE. Practice is the diligent attention to whatever vehicle we use to remember our intimate connection with the Divine/God. In the Christian tradition practice is experienced as prayer, worship, mindful service, meditation and contemplation. In the Eastern traditions practice includes these with the addition of movement (yoga, tai chi, chi qong, etc.). The thread and crucial element that ties all of these forms of practice together and makes them effective is ATTENTION.
Practice is focused attention on the Divine/Highest Self. Practice transcends the activity of the mind and the restless actions of the ego and draws us into communion with the center of peaceful contentment that lies within. It is in connection with this peaceful contentment that we remember our Oneness with God. Sounds easy, right? WRONG! Spiritual practice, while simple, is NOT EASY! In fact, diligent attention to our spiritual practice might be the most challenging thing we will ever do in our life. The good news is that as challenging as maintaining a diligent spiritual practice may be, the rewards are well worth the effort!
Here are some of the fruits of maintaining a diligent spiritual practice:
Healing – of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical wounds and disease
Release from spiritual fears
Recovery from compulsive behaviors and actions
Increased peace, contentment, joy, compassion
Deep and profound knowledge of love (Divine love)
Discovery of our unique giftedness and call to share these gifts in the world
The ability to surrender
Do these qualities sound appealing to you? Then what are you waiting for? Get to work! Enlightenment only begins with our spiritual awakening. The rest is up to you!
Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth