Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of April 20, 2009

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Diving into the Sacred

An inquisitive attitude of experiment and exploration accelerates our spiritual journey. Our inner world is an unknown territory, but not entirely unknowable. It contains layer upon layer of depth and richness, sources of energy, healing, and renewal, oceans of understanding and compassion, and the ultimate Source of all. Though teachers, teachings, and scripture offer clues, only our own wit, faith, and determination can see us through. To navigate these inner waters, whose surface turbulence masks the underlying peace, we each set sail, like the great explorers of the spirit before us.

Our periods of meditation and contemplative prayer tend to consist of repeatedly practicing the same approach, the same method. This is as it should be, because by continued practice of a method, we gradually master it and allow it to take us into new inner territory. At the same time, actively exploring the spiritual depths, beyond the limits of method, serves a purpose complementary to regular, repeated practice of a technique

For that active exploration, we dive into the spiritual unknown. Through and past our own center, we search.

Here are sights and sounds and physical sensations. What lies beneath them?

Here are thoughts and images and feelings. What lies beneath them?

Here is the cognizant stillness of pure consciousness. What lies beyond that?

Here am I. What lies through and beyond my I?

Can I somehow invert my I, so that instead of facing outward and instead of occupying the center, I look back through myself, tracing back through my very core, toward the Source from which my I emanates, from which we all emanate? Perhaps along the way I touch the world of sacred light and high energies. Wonderful indeed! But after a time, I continue to dive deeper, to touch or be touched by that One Who is there, to see how I can intentionally become a particle of that Sacred Source, how I can allow, invite, beg that Sacred Source to be who I am, how I can utterly let go of every aspect of myself to become that Sacred Source. I dive and dive deeper. And it is no longer I who dive. There is just the diving and the hope and the search.

Toward the end of our sitting practice of meditation or prayer, we can find great benefit in spending five or ten minutes diving into the sacred, plumbing the spiritual depths. This is not simply another spiritual technique, for it has no boundaries and no particular form ó just a direction of depth, which at present for us remains only vaguely defined and understood. But thatís the purpose of spiritual exploration: to seek beyond the limits of what we know, to seek out the Ultimate.

For this week, dive into the Sacred.


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