Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of May 22, 2006


Our limited ability to remember the path constitutes one of its major hurdles. The extent to which we remember its value, remember to practice as we go about our day, remember the sacred all these measure our progress. The value we place on approaching the sacred determines our possibilities for remembering. The more we value the sacred, the more we remember it. But the converse also holds: in remembering to practice, we deepen our connection with sacred values.

In the great domain of our life, the spiritual path seems to compete with the multitude of our interests and needs. Everything we do or experience takes us. We continually lose ourselves in life. Yet the path to the sacred always remains available, if only we remember it and turn to its practice. Inner work need not compete with our life interests and activities. The practice of presence, for example, can embrace and even enhance any situation. Our spiritual path creates a parallel life in us, a rich inner life, wedded to and embedded within our outer, material life, which it does not diminish.

But the apparent competition for attention results in forgetting the sacred. With our ordinary, limited attention, we typically have nothing left for presence while we engage in our life activities. We may counter this with regular periods of meditation and focused prayer to increase our inner energy and strengthen our intention. In that way, we find it more possible to practice presence in the midst of life. We attend both to life and to our practice simultaneously.

We need to remember the path and act on it. That remembering itself is an act of will: the sacred remembers us. Our own higher nature breaks through the thrall of life and reminds us of the path. And in that moment we turn our inner life to the practice.

For this week, examine your own remembering and forgetting of the path. What helps you remember? Can you increase that? What circumstances cause you to forget? Can you bring the remembering into the situations of forgetting?


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