No Time For Spirituality

How You Nourish Your Suffering

I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon that I believe is worth mentioning. It’s how people consistently nourish their own spiritual suffering. Somehow our mental stability and sense of inner peace routinely takes a backseat to harmful habits and activities. People often have all kinds of maintenance plans in place for keeping their cars or technological gadgets fully functioning and secure but when it comes to their own well-being it’s a “wait until it’s broken”, or in bad shape, before tending to it. It’s an unconscious reactive approach to spiritual-care versus a conscious and proactive approach. What may account for such a distorted approach?

There are many reasons why you might take this “wait until it hurts” approach to your spiritual well-being. However, I won’t enumerate them all. Rather, I’ll simply speak from my experience of assisting and supporting people who live this way. You will blame this neglect on being too busy. You will say that you don’t have enough time. You will say “I intend to begin taking better care of myself next ______” fill in the blank. You say if it were not for so-and-so person (or people), or such-and-such situation, I would not be suffering. These are all excuses.  What’s worse, they only nourish and support your suffering.

As a martial artist, and a vegan, I support maintaining a healthy body. Here in California (especially the southern part where I’m from) you will find no shortage of exercise enthusiasts. In fact, I’d say that while in general too many Americans are grossly obese, there are a significant number of Americans who are fanatical about physical fitness. That said, even this fanaticism is more concerned with aesthetics than real health. These enthusiasts also often pay no attention to their spiritual development. Hire a nutritionist…yes. Go get pills from a doctor…absolutely! Enlist the help of a personal trainer…for sure.  Jump from one fad diet or exercise routine to the next…can’t wait. But, no such eagerness to get in “spiritual shape” or to maintain it exists until there’s a crash.

Our spiritual well-being is essential to a good life. However, too many think that it requires the least amount of attention. This aspect of our life, which is by far the most subtle and intricate part of our existence, is viewed as the least important. Unfortunately, this remains true especially for those who have financial stability, enjoy satisfactory health and have some passions in life yet are existentially malnourished. They think more of this or that thing, or activity, will bring them the peace they seek. Finally they have a breakdown or crisis and are made aware that they’ve completely neglected something far more intimate and important.

Don’t continue to be one of these broken souls or become one. Don’t wait until life deals you a number blows that turn you inside-out. This leaves you feeling bereft of a real sense of love, community, peace and wholeness. It’s completely unnecessary. You’ll hire a professional to handle your taxes, a stylist or barber to cut your hair or mechanic to maintenance your car. Don’t be cavalier and nonchalant with your most precious jewel which is your spiritual house. You’re most likely suffering from a number of things. Some may be quite subtle and nearly imperceptible while others are apparent. In any case, I encourage you to get proactive about nourishing your spirit rather than your suffering. Please reflect deeply upon this…

Peace & Blessings,

-Sensei

#consciousness #spirituality #satsang

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