Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Total Engagement

To engage fully in whatever we do is a central method and goal of inner work. By this we mean to act not only wholeheartedly, but also with our whole mind and body, with total attention, and every ounce of our intention. We aim to bring our entire being and will to bear on the action at hand; no distractions, no half-measures, we are completely there.

A prime example occurs in prayer. Whenever we pray, we work to engage wholly, unreservedly, with nothing held back, nothing left to feed stray thoughts, and nothing lazy or uncooperative dragging behind. We give ourselves utterly over to relating to the Ineffable. Prayer like that bears fruit.

In the wake of the death of Pope John Paul II, a public television program showed some remarkable photos of the Pope kneeling in private prayer before a simple cross. His eyes shut, his face a study of unmitigated, intense, and total devotion, his posture of permanent surrender, all combined to reveal John Paul's proximity to the Divine. This was a man whose silent photographs could teach true prayer. Amazing.

In a more ordinary way, we can also learn total engagement from the virtuoso musician or the world-class athlete at the peak of their performance. In such moments, we see a person completely absorbed in their music or sport, body and soul. We see joy and freedom manifest.

In working to be present, we seek all-embracing engagement and singleness of purpose in being and acting in this moment. We enter presence with a seamless awareness of body, mind, and heart, and with a profound will to be, to be here in this moment, to be ourselves.

We wish to live our life to the hilt, with the greatest depth of being and the utmost strength and devotion of will we can muster. To each action in life, we bring the appropriate fullness. When we relax, we really relax. When we eat, we savor the taste. When we think, we focus on the issue. When we brush our teeth, we exert just the right pressure. Interacting with another person, we mean what we say and we listen in stillness and respect. Throughout it all, we seek a robust presence as our foundation. We wish to engage totally in our life, to give ourselves unconditionally in serving our highest destiny, in kindness and in love.


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