Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: December 20, 2004

Break with the Past

We live under the tyranny of our past, safely presuming that the way we were yesterday is how we will be tomorrow. Our conditioning, our habits of body, feeling, and mind, possess a momentum that we grant to them by our passivity. In the matter of our inner work, we may wish for transformation, for enlightenment and a loving heart, but we do not really believe it is possible for us, for me. We feel stuck in our current level of being and assume that our spiritual practice can only lead to temporary states, not permanent change.

One quality that can help us through this conundrum of our past is faith, the spiritual attraction that draws us forward and imbues us with the confidence and trust to practice beyond our presumed limits. The higher can reach down to us, but we have our essential role to play. A major part of that role is to be active in our pursuit of the spiritual path, and not passive toward the limiting patterns we inherit and accept from our past.

We may fear inner change, in the false belief that it means leaving our familiar self. In truth, our ordinary personality stays with us throughout the path, but gradually assumes a less dominant role in our inner life.

How strongly can I be present? How deeply can I be present? How long can I be present? What lies beyond my ordinary awareness? Yesterday I remained within my self-imposed boundaries, short of what I might hope for. But today is a new day, a time to begin afresh.

For this week, notice your passivity to the shackling weight of your own past. At least for some moments, break with all that, into new levels of inner work, into stronger sensation, into more continuous presence, into deeper, more heartfelt prayer, into active inner exploration of your spiritual dimensions. Can your inner life be vibrant, alive, and fresh?



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