Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

 

Inner Work


For the week of: July 10, 2001


Rating the Day

Time is precious. How we live today creates our future. Do we spend our time profitably in developing our soul? To answer this, we could use a daily measure.

Taking stock of our inner work helps bring clarity to the apparent fuzziness of the spiritual path. Because the path only partly belongs to our ordinary world in space and time, we do not readily see its contours. Though we may not be able to notice our progress objectively, we can gauge our efforts. By regularly assessing our practice, we see more than a vague impression of our true situation.

At the end of each day, at bedtime, look back to see the extent to which inner work, spiritual practice penetrated your life during this day. How often were you present, for how long, and how deeply? Did you make time for prayer or meditation? Did you engage in the practices you have set for yourself? To what degree did your actions accord with your conscience?

You need not make this a highly detailed review. Simply note your overall impression of the quality of your inner life during the foregoing day. To make it more concrete and to obtain a measure for day to day comparisons and goals, rate the day on a 0 to 10 scale, with 0 standing for no presence at all, and 10 representing your ideal of presence, prayer and practice. The one absolutely necessary ingredient in this review and rating process is complete honesty with yourself, the willingness to see your life as it actually is.

This important and effective ancient practice can be found in a number of wisdom traditions. It dates back at least five hundred years to the time of the Khwajagan, the masters of wisdom of Central Asia, among whom were the founders of some of today’s Sufi orders. This daily evaluation helps us identify opportunities for inner work and realize our true position vis-à-vis the Great Way, thus encouraging us to redouble our efforts to practice wisely and with heart.


     

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