You may have heard of “out-of-the-body experiences,” full of lights , and visions. A true spiritual path demands something more challenging, what could be called an “in-the-body experience.” We must connect to our body, to our feelings, to our life just now, if we are to awaken.
To live in the present demands an ongoing and unwavering commitment. As we follow a spiritual path, we are required to stop the war not once but many times. Over and over we feel the familiar tug of thoughts and reactions that take us away from the present moment. When we stop and listen, we can feel how each thing that we fear or crave propels us out of our hearts into a false idea of how we would like life to be. If we listen even more closely, we can feel how we have learned to sense ourselves as limited by that fear and identified with that craving. From this small sense of ourselves, we often believe that our own happiness can come only from possessing something or can be only at someone else’s expense…
Compassion and a greatness of heart arise whenever we stop the war. The deepest desire we have for our human heart is to discover how to do this. We all share a longing to go beyond the confines of our own fear or anger or addiction, to connect with something greater than “I,” “me,” and “mine,” greater than our small story and our small self. It is possible to stop the war and come into the timeless present—to touch a great ground of being that contains all things. This is the purpose of a spiritual discipline and of choosing a path with heart—to discover peace and connectedness in ourselves and to stop the war in us and around us.