70 Daily Reflections For Your Spiritual Awakening
In this book, I am presenting 70 reflections or meditations on different spiritual topics, such as the Ego and the Higher Self, presence and mindfulness, compassion, happiness, karma, letting go, Enlightenment, solitude, unconditional love, forgiveness, meekness, truth, positive affirmations, change, non-attachment, Buddha-nature and also other dynamics that usually appear and manifest on the path of our spiritual practice. You may find these reflections useful especially if you are new on your spiritual path and are asking yourself a lot of questions. These reflections are really helpful for anyone who is looking to find his or her inner self, that deeper spiritual dimension of ourselves, where love and compassion manifest abundantly.
Each of these meditations is spanning one, two or even three pages, but the information contained is rather condensed. You can choose to read a few chapters a day or just jump in and read the chapter that you feel drawn to, as many times as you need. You can also take the time and choose a particular chapter and meditate on its meaning or even meditate on single phrases contained in that chapter. These reflections contain a lot of knowledge and are also pointers to the actual practice that we need to have, so we can advance on our spiritual path.
The message of these reflections is seen from both the ancient Christian perspective as well as from the Buddhist one and it is in itself motivational and also inspiring. I have come to understand that Christianity is mirroring perfectly into Buddhism as they rely on the same fundamental virtues that one needs to cultivate while practicing on his spiritual path. Although at the current time, people still see them as two different things that might have almost nothing in common, through reading both Christian and Buddhist texts, I have come to the conclusion that using them both as a reference, while practicing, one can advance much faster and can also start to see that all the different faiths or belief systems that exist lead to the exact same place.
If you want a real and lasting transformation, you need to read slowly and with focused attention each chapter many times and take time to meditate on particular phrases that you find of interest. In this way, you can start to see the seeds of awakening planted in this book blooming in your soul's garden and also healing you as well through the wisdom that is to be found inside each of them. I personally had to read the whole book about 40 times from the first page to the last, when I was editing it and getting it ready for publishing. The results of putting up so much work into it were outstanding. When I saw how my own spiritual path and practice were transformed, by reading each and every chapter so many times, I was amazed. My mindfulness increased tenfold, my practice improved radically and my whole world changed. I was able to truly and deeply understand what I was teaching others and this made a total shift of perception in my life.
For this book to manifest or appear in its current form, I have to give many thanks from the bottom of my heart to all the spiritual teachers of today that inspired me through their presence and their wisdom, especially to Eckhart Tolle, a man who has changed my life, through his wisdom, understanding and through his simple, unique and transformative book that is "The Power of Now", which I read for the first time back in 2002.
May all these reflections, that I wrote with much carefulness and consideration, help you in your daily life and walk along with you on the path of your spiritual Awakening.
As you venture through the doors of perception, you will find another dimension that exists and dwells in our reality. Its qualities are peacefulness, alert stillness and a deep sense of being at home. The stillness that you will find inside yourself will reflect in the outside world and you will find that everything around you exists also, in stillness. Even the events that once disturbed you are now purely existing as everything else does; they just are. You begin to notice more and more your surroundings, while being still but alert. Your mind settles gradually and you start to experience a calmer, deeper state of being. Soon, everything starts to have a new dimension added to itself. Paintings are starting to speak to you through their vivid colors. Each person you meet has a certain uniqueness and vibration, you can feel they reflect a certain unseen warmth. Each city street has its unique characteristic and story. Everything is all of the sudden alive and each thing is telling you its story. The stillness inside you witnesses the world around. You will find a new stunning world unveiling in front of you. You cannot get back to your old life because you know this new better world. You feel that the beginning of a new life dawns. You cannot waste a moment in this new life that you have found and as you lay down to sleep, at night, you faithfully await for the next sunrise, with unspoken gratitude for everything that exists around you.
Into a mountain’s cave, a fire is lit. There is only a bed carved in stone with a few thick blankets on it. The old man feels the warmth of the fire in the silence that is occasionally disturbed only by little drops of water dripping from the ceiling. In his retreat, he opens a book and immerses in reading. The moon has risen and crickets fill the air with their tranquil sounds. In the old man’s mind there is much silence. The cave has no door and one can see myriad little stars lighting up the sky. Somewhere else, far away, a window is lit with a candle.
3. Being aware
Everything starts with awareness. Being aware makes you gradually jump into a different dimension, which exists intertwined with our mundane reality. The quality and quantity of the information that you receive by being aware, by paying attention to what you do, where you are and how you do it is totally different than the mundane quality of your everyday life. Awareness brings with it, gradually, presence. You can say that one hour of continuous awareness, in the present moment, brings a gram of presence. Presence is like gold. It is always valuable. You need presence in hard times, to make sure you act from your best of interest. Presence is like a good companion that always shows you the best way you should take or the best decision that is to be made, at a certain point. Presence helps you in any life situation and it also brings with it inner peace, that is very hard to obtain in our days, where everything is moving on fast forward or even in hectic ways, sometimes.
So everything starts with awareness. Being aware of your surroundings is a good start. You completely forget about future or past events, you are completely immersed in the Here and Now, in the present moment, and you are paying attention to everything around you, including yourself, in a relaxed but sharp manner. Presence will gradually bring you everything your heart has ever desired, if practiced daily. Be present. That’s all you need to do in order to easily fulfill your life purpose and your deepest wishes and desires. Presence is like a lamp that illuminates your Destiny, so you can see where you need to go, every day.
Never look for happiness outside of yourself. Temporary happiness might exist in so many places, indeed, and it can be bought with currency, but it is still a temporary thing. That means that you will have to jump from “temporary happiness” to “temporary happiness” your whole life. So you might look for your whole life high and low, just to realize that your true treasure is to be found inside. Your soul might be hidden or not visible all the time, but all your actions spring from it. We need to understand that which we actually need is not temporary happiness that will only be here for a while, but true, real and genuine happiness. Genuine happiness can only come from opening your heart, or loving, forgiving and having compassion for others. As you progress on your path and do acts of kindness and selfless acts of compassion you will find, at some point, that you can generate the happiness that you are longing for, from the inside. That is, from the sacred space of your heart. You can love and also be loved. If you could love every being that you could think of for the next 3 minutes, acting accordingly in your immediate reality, then you would get a glimpse of how it is to live in a world full of love. Showing others how you appreciate and respect them, will make them start respecting and appreciating you as well. Showing others love will not only grant you unlimited happiness but also it is the greatest gift that you can give to another human being. Through sharing love effortlessly while in this life, with any sentient being, this will open the gate for you to know soon, sacred or divine love, which is the greatest gift one may receive while in a human life.
A compassionate soul is worth more than a big pile of diamonds, for compassion can eliminate all the suffering of the world. Because of this, once all the suffering in the world will go away, everyone will start glittering tenfold than the most expensive and fine diamond or emerald jewel. Then, to express the gratitude for showing compassion in such a way, one can adorn himself with these most precious gems.
6. Fear or being foolish
Fear is the friend of foolishness, while confidence and trust are the friends of wisdom. When one loses his capacity of seeing clearly, which is seeing through the eyes of wisdom, foolishness or the distorted view of the mind takes its place and starts imagining scenarios that will usually never even happen. When unexplained fear arises, we lose confidence in ourselves, our self-esteem lowers drastically, we even sometimes lose contact with our immediate reality. The moment you notice that the scenery around you changes from being happy and content with your life as it is to fearful and weird dramas that usually are generated by the people or situations around you, or even sometimes by your own Ego-mind, you need to re-assert your position. You need to know that you are now being foolish. This very thing is that which saves you from a lot of trouble. The sky is always blue and beautiful, because of the color of the sea. Gray skies are there only temporarily. Knowing that and also feeling that deep in your soul is the point where you can break the fear that is developing around yourself. So always have an external reference like that, in troubled times. I have found it useful that when you feel unsettled, bringing back to mind a place where you've been and you felt safe, like for example sitting on a bench in the forest on a sunny day, breathing the fresh air and immersing in your book, is definitely one thing you can do to snap out of the fear projected by your Ego-mind, when it arises, for one particular reason or another.
Sometimes, unexplained fear, that is usually developed by our Ego-mind at the mental level and that has most of the time no base in our immediate reality can sneak up on you. That very moment know that what happens in your mind space isn’t real. It is only a temporary situation, that will clear away, once all the “problems” that generated it will subside and dissolve, as they always do. In the face of unexplained fear or obnoxious dramas, just be present, knowing that some things need to happen in order for other things to proceed further. Some things need to happen so people around you or even you can learn valuable lessons. Also, if you can, try to completely relax, feeling your whole body, maybe lying down on a comfortable sofa, feeling the peaceful space of the present moment. Any kind of body tension that you feel is actually your resistance toward the present moment. Try to remember this in any instance when you feel your body is building up tension. When you feel relaxed by having mind and body awareness, being grateful for the present moment, your resistance to being in the present moment dissolves, as being Now silences the Ego-mind and also the fear that the Ego-mind is projecting. Just be present, center yourself and be grateful for being Now.
So, Buddhists call being fearful as being foolish. To understand this at the mental level, you are not being wise, you are not seeing things clearly. See with simple wisdom that everything is all right as it is and that your mental projections that have generated this fear in the first place are merely a means to distance yourself from the immediate reality, to keep you locked in your mind. If you feel or know that the fear is generated by your own mind and its source is not external, know that these mental projections are rooted in your subconscious mind and that they need to emerge at the present time, in order for the mental field to clear up. Don’t fight them. Acknowledge these mental projections of fearful events, acknowledge gently your emotions and stay with them, observing them, while keeping a steady clear mind of wisdom. It is just a mental storm in a glass of water. It will pass, sooner or later. There is a temporary distortion of your view of the world which translates into fear. Nevertheless, the gray skies never stay there forever. Just see that at some point, the blue skies will soon appear while the gray clouds will slowly dissipate. That's all there is to it.
7. Being stuck
When you know you are stuck in your life it means that you are aware of that. Realizing this very thing is the trigger that gets you unstuck. The residual feelings of the emotional load that comes with that may be annoying or even unbearable, but the blockage has been lifted the moment you realized it. How you decide to proceed after that is your own choice. You can see yourself in action, undoing the ties that kept you locked in the past. Or you can forgive anyone that has ever hurt you or made you feel miserable in your life. Or you can send loving thoughts to the people that created this situation in your life that is the reason for you being stuck right now. The very realization that says “Hey, I’m stuck!” brings a valuable practice opportunity, for one who practices passionately on his spiritual path. Practicing can bring a lot of wisdom along the way and the spiritual practitioner can see with clear eyes the obstacles as being blessings in disguise. If you are serious about your spiritual path and your practice, you know that every mental or emotional blockage of any kind, resistance to what is or generally any hardship that you encounter during your day can always be seen as a lesson or a reason to train your mind more, by understanding your current situation with patience and acceptance. This is an opportunity to understand how your mind works and this is also an opportunity to practice the virtue of patience, so you can overcome these blockages with much more ease. Being stuck is thus, one of the greatest tools, in the hands of a spiritual practitioner.
Life is the same as the present moment. It is eternal and ever unfolding. Looking for evidence of life’s creation you will always find that something else originated that “something”, and that something else is behind that too. Life has no beginning and no end. Life is an endless dance between form, energy and the unmanifested. Its language is love and compassion, kindness and peace.
9. Our pure minds
Our minds are like droplets of water in the Ocean of the Universal Mind. We can connect to the realm of the Mind which is eternal and contains Endless and Eternal wisdom, unfolding in all directions of time and space, pervading everything. The Ego-self, which is our “little” mind and which is still in use by many of us today which likes to promote separation and uniqueness in favor of Oneness, wants us to think that all the ideas that we have are ours, when in fact we are all connected, through our mind, to the Dimension of the Universal Mind, where we all interrelate at the mental level. We always share ideas through the Universal Mind Field, even if we are aware of that or not, we have our own ideas as well and we also receive insights and inspiration through the Universal Mind Field from advanced Ascended Masters and the Spirit world. The mind is a great tool to connect, to analyze, to discern, to think, to contemplate and communicate.
The concept of Oneness is imprinted in our very Universe. It is one of the attributes of our Creator. In unity we stand together, we share valuable information, we share love, we co-create together with our Creator. Oneness promotes togetherness as opposed to separation. The concept of Oneness is the one thing that favors love and compassion. We are born on this planet to love each other and share experiences, be compassionate to one another and ride the infinite wave of life. In the vastness of the ocean, a drop of water doesn’t feel alone. It has instant connection to the ocean and can always remember that once, it was only a drop of water.
11. Peace and kindness
Peace and kindness are the attributes of a kind, wise and meek person. He always welcomes anybody, he is always generous, he always welcomes you in his house, every time he has a chance. This is the type of kindness we are looking to attain through humbleness and wisdom. The virtue of kindness can favor the development of true unconditional love, that can be attained rather difficult, during one’s lifetime, especially in our current society, because most of the people today expect something back when they are giving something. By understanding peace and kindness through practice, through sharing them with others freely, we soon find out pure and unconditional love. This is the kind of love that we give out to anybody, every day, with no need for us to receive anything back. We soon start to share more of it and that is what is going to make us happier in the long run. Happiness can spring as well from giving unconditional love in any form that we can, as a reward for our selfless act. After all, our mission on Earth is to share the love, so we can transform the face of our planet for the better.
Without suffering there would be no Enlightenment. Japanese do say that "the greater the doubt, the greater the Awakening". Enlightenment is the supreme state of being where one realizes his Buddha-nature and clears away all causes of suffering. If you can understand the root cause of your own suffering, once the after effects of suffering will subside and dissipate, you will discover your Buddha-nature which is a deep state of aliveness, joy and peacefulness. Other than that, Japanese Zen masters say with confidence that we are already enlightened, and when we meditate we do not look for Samadhi or Enlightenment, we are “Enlightened beings, just assuming Buddha’s posture in meditation”. We are already enlightened, we all have innate Buddha-nature, it’s just a matter of assuming the responsibility of being enlightened beings and then acting as such. The usual spiritual path to Enlightenment, means practicing for years and years one or even more Buddhist paths, involves lots of studying and tons of practice, going up through many levels of consciousness until you realize through wisdom your Buddha-nature or your awake state of being. This might be a longer and more complex path, but the result pays off every second of it.
13. Presence or mindfulness
Mindfulness is the conscious act where you focus your awareness in the present moment. Basically you are aware of the Here and Now, continuously, and you witness the present moment with direct experience. By being present or mindful, you gradually come to be aware also of your body, body sensations, perceptions or being aware through your senses, emotions, thoughts and even your consciousness. By being more present every day, you will find ways of maintaining presence or mindfulness in both physical activities and those activities that require a more mental approach, as writing or sitting at the computer.
Practicing meditation, prayer or other spiritual practice will make you understand that being present or mindful is not something important that we should have, practice or develop, but even much more than that, it is an inseparable thing that we must have while doing our regular daily tasks. You will begin to understand that you need to do your tasks in order to continuously support your mindfulness or presence, not the other way around. Keep in mind that awareness brings mindfulness and mindfulness brings more awareness.
Be present in any situation. Be mindful. Be aware, still and peaceful. Don't forget to love as much as you can and be compassionate and kind to everyone. Life is always simple and great, you just have to see it with mindfulness through your clear, loving and kind eyes.
14. Yin and Yang
In the traditional Chinese medicine system, Yin and Yang stand for the feminine and masculine symbols. Everyone of us holds inside both the masculine and the feminine aspect, no matter what gender we are. The balancing of our own internal energetic system is very important. By maintaining an equal balance of masculine and feminine energies, we are in perfect balance, we are healthy and we can easily manifest what we desire. Manifestation comes with applying steady awareness to the process of giving and receiving. Also, the more you give, the more you get back. The giving side relates to our masculine aspect while the receiving side does relate to the feminine aspect. One has to know the importance of sharing and giving unconditionally but one has to be opened to receiving, as well. One has to be fiery but one has to be gentle also. One has to be like fire but one has to be like water too. One cannot be too high or too low, one has to find the middle way, the balance, in which both shoes will be worn out equally. Being a balanced person will ensure that all our needs are met and that we will get the most out of our lives.
Drop the perception of events as being done one after another, thinking in a linear time fashion. Everything happens Now, in a continuous flow, in the present moment. Knowing this, the concept of time will dissolve at the mental level and there will be no difference between putting a glass of water on the table Here and Now and putting it on the same table the next day. You are always Here, and Now. Remember that when you wake up tomorrow, that it is still the same Now. Also keep in mind that in the present moment, nothing begins and nothing ends. Everything just is and manifests. The stillness and clear view that this insight gives you, allows you to live your life with presence or mindfulness and gives you no reason not to be joyful all the time. Presence or being Now manifests effortlessly when you surrender to what is, when you feel you really are a part of this world, when you love the world of form around you. If you can ride the wave of the present moment and be able not to attach to anything that comes up for at least 3 minutes, second after second, with other words not favoring some things and rejecting others, then you are starting to understand what the present moment feels like. This practice is very similar to practicing being humble, where you accept everything that comes your way with equanimity. So by not rejecting anything that is around you, by not rejecting the world of form, you will begin to feel more grounded and at peace with everything. A deep feeling of joyfulness and of belonging starts to manifest in your day. You also no longer depend on your past, or even your future, because you are Now, when everything is and manifests. Again, you do not depend anymore on past events and you do not imagine your future all the time, living in a dream-like state of mind. You are Now, you exist Now and try to make the best possible choices, as you ever did. Be present, the Now is one of the most precious gifts one may get in his lifetime.
16. Desire and manifestation
Drop right now the desire of having anything, except if it is something you need so you can continue on your path. The very desire to have those things that we regularly don’t really need, will create an attachment to those things. We feel that we cannot exist or live without them, in a short time. So, desire creates attachment to worldly things, and even more desire. By recognizing when desire arises and by recognizing the thought or emotion that pushes you in that direction, you can gradually take small steps towards not being attached anymore to that thing. Not needing anything anymore with your whole heart open, in your heart you will have the realization that you Now have actually everything. You can now feel your whole being opening up to the so many possibilities that you actually have, in the present moment. Being without desire makes way for being grateful for all the small things you already have. You start to rejoice in the small treasure that you have and this will make way for the virtue of humbleness to manifest, with ease.
Desire fuels the world of consumption indeed, and by dropping any desire of any kind, you will have the whole world at your feet, with no need to have any particular thing, in order to be happy. Once you've transcended desire, once you have risen above desire, once you understood and let go of the concept of desire, you will be free, liberated from the constant need to acquire things or to get the next thing that will grant you happiness. Now, since you don't want anything in particular, you can be happy just because someone else is happy. You share in others' accomplishments and you rejoice in that. You appreciate everything with a certain respect and reverence. You love everything. You don't need anymore any particular person or thing to make you happy. You rejoice in the whole world, as it is, and see that everything has its own unique role and place here. Everything is beautiful this way. Everything is just as it should be. You enter into a magical world that's offering you simplicity and the opportunity to discover it. You discover Now that happiness actually springs from your own heart space and it is not fueled anymore by owning or having external things.
You know you can have anything that you ever wanted, of course, by exerting that required will power and keeping in sight, visually, that which you want to manifest, until the work you diligently do towards your goal allows the manifestation to occur in the material world. So making something happen is a combination of envisioning it every day and working on it. The practice of visualization of that which you wish to obtain will enhance the power of the manifestation, because envisioning falls in the same category as reciting mantras, as in praying. Visualize the desired outcome every day and see that it has already happened, that you already have it and are already enjoying that thing that you wish to manifest. The spiritual power of the process of envisioning in your mind is helping speeding up the manifestation of that which you desire, even if it is a goal or even if it is a material thing that you need in your life. Observing the gradual process of creation, while you work on your project, will motivate you more to work everyday on it until its manifestation in the real world occurs. Working towards something always puts you in the space of getting it, even if sometimes it takes more perseverance and also getting out of your own way, as in improving and changing yourself or discarding unneeded parts of your Ego, in the process. Also, another way to manifest a thing that you desire can be done by immersing in and surrendering to that goal, as opposed to applying will power or pushing towards manifesting your goal. Both ways presented in this paragraph work well, but usually the more you force things and push towards the end result, so it can manifest faster, makes way for resistance to manifesting that. Letting go, immersing and surrendering to that which you wish to accomplish, while working relaxed but focused towards your goal will make the process way much smoother and will even improve the desired outcome.
Nonetheless, by dropping attachment to desire, at the mental and emotional levels, you can encompass anything that exists. The need to own things is gone. You find simple and pure happiness in the simplicity of life. The need to depend on external events is gone. And you feel you can dwell in this state of joyfulness, forever.
17. Letting go
Letting go is one of the best ways to quickly jump from a difficult situation back to your normal life. Whenever things get complicated or when life situations get difficult, remember that your life is actually good and you're now just focusing on aspects of a situation that is just temporary existing in your life. The mantra to always snap back to your beautiful and serene life is “let go”. To reach a sacred dimension in your life and to slowly and steady become the higher version of yourself, use the mantra “Let go and let God” in any instance you feel powerless or challenged by external things; to increase your spiritual development, use it all the time. Be Now, do as much as you can and leave the little things and details you don't seem to get right in the hands of Spirit. The Infinite Wisdom of Spirit will help you in the best way possible for everybody involved in this situation and turn the outcome soon into something favorable, or even into something better than you've imagined. You resonate with the Spirit World at the level of your intuition, so make sure you listen to all those little nudges that push you to do particular things you believe they would be beneficial for you.
The main message here is that you shouldn't feel that you have to work alone through the difficulties of your life. Know all the time that God, the Creator, the Supreme power in this Universe, is always taking care of all the situations, helping you along the way with an unseen hand, basically allowing you to just be, do as much as you can and at the same time not forgetting to enjoy life. Your main goal in this life is to share love and be kind to everyone and do as much as you can. To keep doing that, you sometimes need to discard things that are making you stall in life, or on your spiritual path. Be present and do not have any resistance to anything that comes your way, because everything can hold a lesson in itself, but be wise and let go of the things that you don't really need in your life. Letting go of any situation where we feel disempowered and forgiving everyone involved will clear the way so we can walk again steady and strong on our paths.
Enlightenment is the natural state of our being, where one is happy with what he is, with what he has. Because of the innumerable wrong choices we did in the past, attaining Enlightenment is now necessary to restore the true quality of our beings and of our lives. To untangle from Samsara, the world of suffering, one has to work his way on his spiritual path, to cleanse oneself of non-virtues, to be more aligned with the divine Will, to be more aligned with our Creator, to love more and to be more dedicated in helping and alleviating others' suffering. We all love our spiritual paths and all these paths lead to the same thing: Enlightenment or Salvation, as the followers of Christ say. This is just a term that means witnessing the world as Being Awake or the realization of our true nature, seeing everything as it really is, with clear vision, with no preconceptions, labels or any kinds of mental filters. When we manage to get there, we experience life fully through direct experience and we feel great happiness. But to reach that place, we need to work on understanding and uncovering our real selves and we also need to actively work on transforming this world, as much as we can, into a better place. Being active in our lives brings a lot of useful experience and wisdom, that we can use to progress on our spiritual paths. And that means we need to establish a spiritual practice of our own choice that will lead us there.
There are many things that one can say about Enlightenment, but basically it is the state where you love everything from the depths of your heart and you understand and accept every little thing with great ease. You will not only understand everything, but also love everything for what it is. Your head is now empty of illusory things and attachment to worldly values, your being is filled with the love of the world, you feel the world is full of wonders and you are in awe for your existence. You do not suffer anymore, your life has become a gift, from the Creator. You are dwelling in peace and bliss for you can now see the Beauty of the Creation around you in full bloom. You are witnessing the wonder of this world as you peacefully exist Now outside duality, in Oneness. It means that you've stepped out of duality and now reside with your soul and your whole being in the beautiful realm of Oneness, where duality is absolutely transcended, as a reward for your steady efforts and virtuous acts that you've done on your spiritual path. Only the Awakened Ones have this privilege. And as the Awakened Ones are also Bodhisattvas, which are regular people like you and me that have dedicated their whole lives to their spiritual practice and to bringing to Awakening every soul, until there is no one left to suffer on this planet, everyone can choose to dedicate their life to doing so. It is only a matter of assuming this responsibility, on your spiritual path, of becoming a person that works for the benefit of others and Enlightenment will just be a goal that you set on your spiritual path. You are hoping in this way to reach Enlightenment, for the sole purpose of benefiting every other sentient being reach theirs, while walking every day on your path to Awakening.
19. Stepping into your power
To be strong but also humble is a good way in which you can practice in your life. Being strong is like being courageous, acting with a fearless heart. It has no connection to being proud. Discarding unnecessary parts of your Ego, which means also throwing away being proud is a mandatory thing if you want to be genuinely happy in your life, to live your life seeking happiness in the innumerable simple things that life has to offer. Pride can be all right, in a small dosage, so you can acknowledge and rejoice in your successes when they happen. But being humble, joyful and courageous will clear the way for you to see and understand life as it is, so you can enter the beautiful realm of the people that have managed to find their inner light, through the practice of virtuous acts.
20. Spiritual practice
Your suffering will not stop just because you've started your spiritual practice, be it meditation, practicing presence (being Here and Now), prayer, yoga (body mindfulness) or any other that you might choose for your path. This is an illusion of the mind. I have found that, for the most new practitioners of Buddhism, the idea of reaching states of bliss and tranquility, if they would start up meditation, abounds. This is partly true, as meditation, being practiced for a longer while, will start to show you your natural state of mind, which is pristine and which feels blissful. But in the beginning, your meditation practice will first uncover your continuous stream of thoughts that you usually think, that you are mostly not aware of, which causes so much hidden suffering and turmoil for the most of us. Also, in the beginning, your spiritual practice will make things more clear, more real, maybe even deepening your mind turmoil or your suffering. You have to trust this process and continue your practice, because meditation is actually showing you how your mind and emotional states are at the present time, uncovering deeper levels of thought and emotion that you were not really aware of in your every day busy life, so they can gradually clear up.
After a long while, after you have practiced seriously and consistently for a longer period of time, you will perceive everything as it is, not as your small mind always wanted it to be, masking some things and choosing only what it wants. Your path will also be filled with many wonderful things and glimpses of realization, or satori, as the Japanese Buddhists say, which will bring much happiness for any practitioner. As part of your spiritual practice, you need to find and release your deepest fears and suffering, understand them, forgive yourself and the people that have generated them, so you can move on with your life. Otherwise, your subconscious fear and suffering will daunt and follow you for the whole duration of your present life, making you live in a poor way, and most of all, blocking your birthright to be able to give and receive love. Clearing yourself of fear and suffering is a natural and important process, as a result of your meditation practice. The more you practice, the more your mind cleans up of unnecessary thought processes, the more you gain peace of mind and you are thus happier with your life.
So your spiritual life may be messy in the beginning. You have to first find and clear away the causes that kept you stuck in your mind. As you develop, understand and walk steady steps upon your path, things will start to clear up, the sun will appear from the puffy gray clouds and you will start to experience life as it was intended to be. As you begin to accustom yourself to and practice virtues such as compassion, patience, love, kindness, equanimity, purity and humbleness, as you begin to put more and more importance on your practice, your life will begin to get more organized, to make more sense, to have more depth, to enrich itself with so many joyful moments and dear friends that will walk with you along the path that you have chosen. So nothing in this world is gained in an instant, with no effort from your part. The more you progress on your path, the more you will be able to see the beauty of your real life.