In the work of spirit, you are defeated just when you imagine you have arrived. Because spirituality is simply spiritual work – meditation, prayer, chanting, whatever you do. Spirituality is not labels or merit accrued from past action. When you suppose you are edging closer to enlightenment, you’re not – no, instead you’re sitting around supposing. If you’re talking about being Christian or Buddhist, you’re sitting around talking from ego instead of demonstrating faith, love, or humility.
Many things continue to amaze me, even well into my seventh decade. I’m startled or at least taken aback when people walk up to me and without being questioned inform me that they are Christians. My first response is the question “Already?”
It seems to me that becoming a Christian is a lifelong endeavor. I believe that is also true for one wanting to become a Buddhist, or a Muslim, a Jew, Jainist, or a Taoist. The persons striving to live their religious beliefs know that the idyllic condition cannot be arrived at and held on to eternally. It is in the search itself that one finds the ecstasy.
Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
The only Christians or Buddhists anywhere are those that are actively engaging in the morality and consciousness of those religions right now. Wait a moment, the lights on the globe completely shift patterns. The religions themselves are fluid.
Further action is necessary. That you’re here at all shows that. I don’t mean effort; spirituality isn’t about hard or easy work. I don’t mean physical movement either. I mean mental fluidity, awake and alert consciousness – sitting in stillness and centeredness is exceptionally spiritually alive.
If you pick up a book on parenting, you know the mental focus you’ll probably have when you read it. You’ll be a parent while you read it. You’ve got to keep that focus if you want to keep being a parent. A book that once was about parenting isn’t anymore after it’s burnt. It’s no longer a book, and ashes can’t be about parenting. If you once were an excellent father or mother, that doesn’t mean you are now.
Thoughts and emotions spontaneously arise from the ground of awareness. Some are about spirituality or parenting, but others are about insufficiency and anger. At first, the work is about only letting your attention focus on the ones you want.
But when you continuously watch the rising and subsiding, all the thoughts and emotions become meaningless compared to the light shining out of that ground of awareness. It’s some essential illumination of faith, perseverance, compassion, honesty, and love. In the end, the work is about keeping your attention on that, about letting only those things emanate from you.
In time, none of us are already spiritual – not one permanent Christian or Buddhist lives in the cycling tides. Down here, no, no matter what you say, you aren’t already. You’ve got to keep going, keep finding your way back home, keep holding your head above the waters.
Outside of time, all of us are nothing but spirit. Up there, yes, no matter how much you resist, you are already. The aliveness, the action of spirituality in time is the rippling reflection of the moon on the restless waters. Yet that higher, truer self is still, gazing down upon your wavering spirituality in time – its terrestrial reflection.
Buddha Consciousness. Christ Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness. Keep dancing, beloved friends, keeping moving ever deeper into the mysteries, into faith, into bliss. Never settle into already until you join yourself at the horizon.