Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the Week of February 28, 2022


Through Us 

(Fourth Way Practice: 14)

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Anyone who has tried knows that it is difficult, or rather impossible, to practice presence intentionally, actively, and continuously all day. But to let presence come through you, to allow presence from your deeper self to be here in you, to be you, brings a new dynamic, a new connection, a new possibility. Instead of taking the active role ourselves, we adopt the receptive, the allowing role, allowing the higher to be in us, as us. Who we are, our real I, has its roots beyond our mind, beyond our body and emotions. Our ordinary attention seems to start in us, but upon more careful inspection we may see that its root is hidden. Opening to our core, to the true source of our attention, changes our inner dynamic.

In doing so, we are not abdicating control, we are extending the reach of who we are, cooperating with our own sacred depths, to be more than our personality, more than our usual sense of self, to join the mystery in and through our core.

To be receptive in this way does not mean being passive. In passivity, we sleepwalk through life, as it passes us by. To be receptive means to be in touch with the action and to allow it to take place, welcoming it. We can imagine receptivity as being like a satellite dish antenna, which needs to be aimed in the right direction. We point and open.

To find that direction takes exploration and experimentation. If someone suggests, for example, that we follow our attention back toward its radiant source, that sounds as if it were clear. But the reality of trying it reveals that words alone cannot entirely show us the way and that we need to explore inwardly to find the actual direction toward the root of our attention. Because attention generally points somewhere, it is a radically different endeavor to climb back along our attention toward where it points from. But it is an endeavor that can pay great dividends.

If someone suggests, for example, that we let go into the boundless, sacred, cognizant silence behind our thoughts and emotions, behind all our sensory experiences, that sounds like a clear path to inner peace and freedom, to a place where we can fully and simply be. Yet trying it shows that it will take some practice to become able to open to that silence at will. We may at first believe that we need to stop our thoughts for the silence to emerge. But trying to do so proves fleeting and fruitless. Then we may discover that the silence is always here in us, that it is not disturbed by our thoughts and the rest, that we can relax into the silence and experience everything else from there.

Can we tentatively accept that there really is a higher part of ourselves, that our individuality extends into and descends from a high spiritual world, from the highest spiritual world, that we are each truly part of the Sacred, that there is a part of us, not separate from us, that resides in the world of the Sacred and that touches all the way out to this ordinary life of ours, sanctifying it? Taking all that as a possibility gives us the drive to pursue the inner work that gradually turns it into a reality.

A prime venue for exploring our inner reality is in seated inner work, like meditation or other inner exercises, whether in a formal, set approach or in an unstructured but directed exploration. This is where we learn the contours of our inner worlds and how to navigate them. We learn how to reconnect with the higher in us, how to let our sacred root live in us, come forward to its rightful place in our center. Then presence is a whole new enterprise.

For this week, please explore how to allow your own higher nature to live more in you, as you.


     

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