Tools of Transformation
“walk your walk”
I am writing this article with the intention to inspire you to get more acquainted with the literature of the spirit.
Joseph Campbell wrote:
“One of our problems today is that we are not well acquainted with the literature of the spirit. We’re interested in the news of the day and the problems of the hour”
The first common attitude that all spiritual paths have, is a method of “working” or a certain practice.
No matter what practice we choose-whether it is meditation, prayer, yoga, reading inspirational books, getting guidance or any other, there are three criteria that we have to consider:
• Does the practice assist me to become more mindful, awake and open to my life?
• Or is it actually supporting my cherished illusions about myself, even the negative ones?
• Does it cultivate a sense of Presence and emphasise the importance of being in contact with my life here and now?
• Does it support me in exploring some of the uncomfortable aspects and limitations of my personality?
• Many paths offer a kind of “spiritual glamour” reassuring followers that they are somehow separate from and better than the mass of humanity and that they can soon expect to receive grandiose and cosmic powers.
• While attaining extraordinary powers is always possible, they are more often a distracting sidetrack than a mark of genuine realisation (On the other hand, any path that is continually shaming or judging us is also probably unbalanced).
• Does the path or the practice encourage me to think for myself?
• Growth comes from the desire to look more deeply into our own natures as well as into the nature of reality.
• Ready made answers from gurus or hide-bound doctrines of any sort, discourage this process.
• Such “answers” may soothe our personality for a while, covering over our deeper anxieties and wounds, but their limitation is usually exposed when a real crisis comes along.
In fact, life is our greatest teacher.
Whatever we are doing can be instructive, whether we are at the office, or talking to our spouse, or driving a car on the freeway.
If we are present to our experiences, the impression of our activities will be fresh and alive, and we will always Learn something New from them.
But if we are not present, every moment will be like every other, and nothing of the preciousness of live will touch us.
• No single psychological tool or spiritual practice is right for everyone at all times.
• Our different states and confusions often require different choices.
• Sometimes our minds and hearts may be quiet, and we can easily engage in meditation, contemplation or visualisations.
• At other times, we will be tired and find that we cannot meditate, at such times perhaps prayer of chanting, or a waking meditation , will be more helpful.
• Our uniqueness, our personal individual constitution, our personality type, who we are at our core, might probably influence which practises we will be attracted to.
(The Wisdom of the Enneagram – Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson pg 344 A Bantam Book/June 1999)
“If you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day….
If you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass, that is, accurately, clearly, exactly as it is, without the slightest distortion or addition…
If you observed this reflection without any judgement or condemnation,
You would experience all sorts of marvellous changes coming about in you.
Only you will not be in control of those changes,
Or be able to plan them in advance,
Or decide how and when they are to take place.
It is this nonjudgmental awareness alone that heals and changes and makes one grow.
But in its own way and at its own time.”(Antony De Mello , The way to Love, New York, Doubleday, 1991 pg 145)