Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: March 22, 2004

Balancing Inner and Outer

Our lives lack balance in several dimensions. For this week, we look particularly at the imbalance between inner and outer, in the sense that nearly all our attention goes to our outward circumstances. We woefully neglect our inner world. Consider the time and effort you spend on your outer world: working at your job, shopping, organizing your home, maintaining your possessions, serving your family, taking care of your body, watching movies and all the rest. Now contrast this with the concern and effort you give your inner world, a domain no less rich, complex, and important than your outer world.

The inner landscape, almost totally unknown to us, invites our exploration to understand and develop it. Furthermore, our inner world determines our measure of happiness and fulfillment, as well as our response to the circumstances and events of our life. Yet we remain almost completely focused on the outer, neglecting our ultimate welfare and possibilities for service.

Balancing inner and outer need not detract from the outer. Indeed, it enhances our interaction with the outer. Except for periods of formal meditation and prayer, our inner work proceeds in tandem with our outward engagements. We work at sensation, kindness, and presence while we traverse the marketplace of life. We can live in both worlds simultaneously. But to realize that possibility, we must give the inner its fair share.

For this week, during your ordinary daily rounds, compare your concern for your inner world with your concern for your outer world. Rebalance through your work on sensation and presence.



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