Balance in Life
A leaf balances lightly on a fern for a while until the wind blows and it balances somewhere else. Is there ever a place where it is not balanced?
Balance in Life
My first motivation in writing this was to remind myself that The Work is not everything. You can’t pay the electric bill by doing The Work (not true actually). The Work is not a substitute for eating good food, meditating, sleeping, or exercising.
In other words, my theory was that life is a balance. And that’s important for me to see because I tend to be all or nothing. I’ve always looked for one thing to do which would take care of everything else. For me, that one thing has been spiritual practice.
And in theory, I still think it’s right. True spirituality is enough. It is the end of problems. But the problem comes when I’m not fully there yet.
When I’m Not Fully There…
…I still care about my health. When I’m not fully there, I still care about what people think about me. When I’m not fully there, I’m not fully free.
So it’s a mix.
I spend some time in meditation, some time doing The Work, some time exercising, some time cooking food, some time with family and friends, some time sleeping, and some time playing. It seems slow, but to go any faster would be to leave myself, to be out of integrity, to be ahead of my own evolution.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
I see the goal. I am in love with the idea of spiritual freedom, and have been my whole life. And I love the practices that promote spiritual growth.
But one practice that seemed counterintuitive to me at first is the practice of letting go even of spiritual practices and spiritual goals. But that too is now a part of my practice.
Give Me a Cave in the Woods
That’s my fantasy.
A place to meditate and focus on what’s dear to me: my meditation practice.
But I don’t go there because there are other things dear to me as well, most importantly the approval of others, but also the comforts of home and health. So until it’s clear to me that a cave is where I’m going, I try to keep the balance of life here.
That is a choice I make to favor balance over fantasy until I’m clear that the fantasy is what I want. And the little sadness that comes shows me what to work on… my attachment to the fantasy.
The Middle Path Is Renunciation for Me
My mind goes to extremes. I want total enlightenment, total freedom, to be above the cares of being in the world. But that too is a care. And it is my path now to renounce even that care, or at least to question it. The Work helps me, as always, to come back to balance in life by showing me how to question everything.
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Have a great week,
“I used to tell my children, “Make friends with mediocrity.” You can find perfect enlightenment in just doing the dishes. There’s nothing more spiritual than that. Someone can spend three years meditating in a cave, and your practice of just doing the dishes every day is equal to that. Can you love the balance, the harmony, of sweeping the floor? That harmony is the ultimate success, whether you’re a pauper or a king. You can achieve it from wherever you are. There are no trumpets blaring; there’s only peace.” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself