Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: June 10, 2002

The Roller-Coaster

Like all living processes, our inner work ebbs and flows. Some days we experience an abundance of energy and strong commitment to practice. Other days find us barely connected with ourselves, much less the path.

Spiritual practice, borrowing the old phrase about politics, is the art of the possible. When we fall to the inevitable low points, the down days, the slough of despond, we practice in whatever small ways we can, just to maintain that connection with the path, however tenuous it may seem. A conscious breath, some sensation in a hand, a gesture of kindness -- the efforts made despite great obstacles, great resistance, low energy and other distractions add to our being in a way not possible while cruising on a high road.

On the up days, we face the temptation of only seeking pleasure, using up the resources we have built through our inner work. We naturally and rightly enjoy the days full of energy, when events seem to conspire to serve our every whim. Yet we practice even on the up days: a prayer of gratitude, good wishes to our neighbor, a body full of sensation, returning frequently to awareness of our body or breath, taking time for meditation. This way of giving part of our best moments to the path, when our energies wax abundant, builds our will and commitment to the spirit, while serving the sacred.

For this week, notice the peaks and valleys, the highs and lows in your practice, and how you respond to these changing situations.



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