Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice



Inner Work

For the week of: December 31, 2001


We all wait: for our turn at the front of the line, for the traffic light to change, for the show to begin, for our appointment, for the bread to rise or the water to boil, for our boat to come in, for the bus or the plane, for the tires to be rotated, for the mail, for a phone call, for the computer to boot up or shut down, for our chance to speak, for the weather to change, for a promotion or a raise, and so on ad nauseam.

But instead of wasting our time, we notice that waiting opens a gap in the flow of life, a gap through which inner work can enter. In pursuing our path, we seek to bring the light of spiritual practice into every corner of our day. Moments of waiting, with nothing pressing to do, present a prime opportunity to practice. We need only turn to working with bodily sensation, awareness of breath, inward prayer or full presence to transform a period of waiting into a session of being-work.

Typically though, we occupy ourselves unprofitably while waiting: looking in vain for ways to shorten the wait, feeling impatient, frustrated or anxious, or just daydreaming to escape. If, instead, we occupy ourselves with an appropriate method of spiritual practice, we reclaim the waiting time. Rather than wasting time or squandering it in a reaction to waiting, we inwardly turn our attention toward the eternal, while outwardly we still appear to be just waiting. Soon we may almost look forward to waiting.

For this week, renew your inner life while you wait.


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