Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice



Inner Work

For the week of: February 25, 2002

Understanding Our Motivation

The motivations that drive our spiritual practice vary widely, just as we do. They even change from moment to moment, ranging from the wholly self-centered to the purest love.

We may want to be seen by others as a spiritual person. We may want to belong to a group. We may want solace in our suffering. We may appreciate the beauty of the world and want to touch its deepest truths. We may want an explanation for the mystery of life. We may have had an extraordinary spiritual experience that we want to understand and even repeat. We may have a heartfelt intuition of the Sacred and feel the need to serve and worship God. We may have some unknown and invisible faith or longing that carries us along the Way of love and completion. We may want a deeper meaning for our life. We may want to make a difference. Or we may have any number of other reasons.

Regardless of the particular motive, the important thing is whether it prods us to actually practice. The path will eventually transform our motives from the base to the sublime, as we ourselves are transformed. Yet if our motivation, our wish to practice, is weak or if we have little contact with it, our practice will be correspondingly weak.

So for this week’s inner work, we notice our motives for following the spiritual path. We might try to recall what brought us to the path initially. We might notice whether and how that initial motivation has changed.

What is it that moves me to try to awaken, to be present, to meditate, to pray, and so on? Why do I do these things?


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