Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of June 26, 2006


Stabilizing Our Way

The natural ups and downs of living turn even more markedly in the inner life. At times we rise to unexpected heights, touched by the sacred and full of energy. At other periods we fall flat, our inner work vanishing altogether. The causes of the latter prove varied and complex, from emotional upheavals to physical imbalances to situational impediments. We may avoid these spiritual deserts, if we arrange our path with the reliability of balance.

Competing priorities often destabilize our desire and determination to live a soul-fulfilling life. But we can counteract such episodic waning of our spiritual orientation by establishing several disparate legs for our practice. When one leg weakens, the others can carry us forward. Two bases for such stability of practice can be created. The first is wholly within ourselves and the second orients us within greater wholes.

In our personal domain we can work in several interacting streams of practice. For example, we can install ourselves in a regular time and mode of prayer, in a regular period of meditation, and in continuing efforts of presence during our day. When one or even two of the three slips, as will happen, the remaining ones keep us linked to the sacred. The joyful effort of working in all three ways not only feeds our soul a balanced diet, but helps us stabilize our path, thereby transforming our being into a home for the sacred.

In a larger context, our personal inner work interacts with our practice in community and with our service to people, life, and the sacred. Participating regularly in communal practice, be it worship or meditation or some other form of sharing in spirit, offers many important benefits. And translating our spirituality into some concrete form of service to the greater whole puts the entire enterprise of our individual path onto a surer footing by taking our motivation beyond the purely personal. These three domains of inner work, communal practice, and service all support each other. Each stands ready to pick us up if one or two of the others slacken, helping stabilize our way.

For this week, create a more stable path for your spiritual life by renewing your efforts, where necessary, along several streams of inner work, in communal practice and in service.


     

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