Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the weeks of August 6 & 13, 2018

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Living in Harmony

(Living in Oneness: 6)

Instead of resisting and fearing the inevitable moments of tension and difficulty, can we accept our life as it comes? Can we go a step further than acceptance and adopt the attitude that the events of my life are actually meant for me? That way we would create meaning, imbue our life with significance, and make it vivid and full.

Some of us are in a continuing war with our life, with ourselves. The attitude of meaningfulness can bring us peace. Instead of railing against the forces, inner and outer, that constrain us or cause us stress or misfortune, if we consider it all to have meaning for us personally, we find the inner space to see our situation as it is, and to choose whether and how to respond, how to move forward. We have the inner space to ask ourselves what we can learn from our difficulties and successes, what to do different, and whether and how we can do better. That can bring meaning into the far corners of our life. We work to do better, but we do so from a place of peace.

Even when we need to hurry, can we do so with the attitude that we have already arrived, here and now? When we are stuck waiting, in traffic, in a line, for our turn, for our appointment, can we make productive use of that time? Many of us will pull out our phone, check messages, postings, updates, news, or play a game. Fair enough. Can we also be productive inwardly, work at presence, sense our body as we wait, be in contact with our surroundings, actually be here instead of inwardly zoning out or being captive to our phone?

More and more, such practices allow our days to flow on a river of peace. This is not a peace that lulls us into absence, into passivity in front of our life. Rather it is the peace that supports our presence and our activity, that grants us the freedom to be ourselves, the freedom to see and select among the choices available to us in any given moment, and to acquire wisdom from the consequences.

Still, if our basic attitude frames our situation as me separate from everyone else, as me separate from what is around me, then we are introducing a fundamental tension into our worldview. If our basic attitude frames us as not separate, then we can live in the ease of truth, wrapped in love. It is not that we necessarily take the easy way through life. Rather we carry ease with us, regardless of most circumstances. In that ease, we can be less judgmental, not only about ourselves and our circumstances, but about the people around us. That in turn eases our relationships and makes them more harmonious.

Life sometimes brings us truly painful events and situations, whereupon our peace may naturally desert us. But at those times, as well as at the many other unwanted situations, we may suffer unnecessarily from a seemingly potent reactional layer of disharmonious thoughts and emotions clouding our inner sky. Even here, in the midst of the intense moments, can we recall the layer of peace underneath all this, and relax back into it, letting it touch us? We may need to work furiously on the surface, yet the peace is always here, waiting for us.

A daily practice of meditation or prayer, in which we open to that ocean of inner peace from which we are not separate, proves invaluable. If we make room for it to carry over into the rest of our life, we enable ourselves to bring meaning into our days, we enable ourselves to live from peace, to live in harmony with ourselves, with our life, with others.

For this week, please practice living in harmony.


        

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