The spiritual journey is like meditation. So long as you think about the end of meditation – when you will get up and go about your day – you are no longer meditating. So long as you contemplate enlightenment or Heaven – when you will reach your spiritual ideal – you have forgotten spirit.
Or rather, so long as you are contemplating your destinations, you have ceased to move. You are still a traveller on a spiritual journey, but you have pulled over to the side of the road to check an imaginary map. When you return your attention to your breath or mantra or whatever other focal point you’ve elected, you resume meditating. When you return your attention to your current spiritual awareness and circumstance, you resume your spiritual journey.
Attention is the edge of consciousness – your mind, body, and life follow your attention.
For there is only a spiritual journey if you view life through the eyes of ego. There is only really the never-ending transformation of consciousness. There is a fluctuating baseline of attention – more or less constancy, more or less faith, more or less one-pointedness. There is a fluctuating baseline of happiness – more or less peace, more or less compassion, more or less enthusiasm. But spirit is always with us, or rather we are always spirit unveiled to a greater or lesser degree, just as we are always enlightened and in Heaven despite the clouds that occasionally block our illumination and sight.
The ideal spiritual beings inspire and guide us, and that is good. Yet, so long as we are focused on ideals and destinations, we are focused on the clouds rather than the immortal light they pass in front of.
Today, set your intention to let go of the scenery. It arises and subsides, while you are the witness. So long as you focus on the spiritual journey, you forget that you are the One veiled by the clouds – and you strive to recover yourself. But what is to be recovered? Only sight.
Today, return your attention to the traveling. Wash the dishes and enjoy the sparkles of soap and water without mentally drifting to the completion of the dishes or what you’ll do later. Meditate and return again and again to your breath or mantra. Simply wholly be with each moment as it arises, returning again to the holiness, happiness, and wholeness at the ground of your consciousness each time you wander.
Freed of striving after spiritual progress, the clouds disperse and the land is flooded with your light.
Freed of striving after the ideal spiritual beings, you sit companionably with them.
Freed of the spiritual journey, you arrive at your destination.