I think of myself as a teacher of meditation and mystical philosophy, but of course at least half of the things people ask of me are about how to live a better, more spiritual, more awakened and fulfilling human life.
I’ll be honest. I’ve tended to be a bit shy in addressing these questions for two reasons.
The first is because often what people are looking for is a formula, or a set of guidelines that they can follow to guarantee a fulfilling life. I recognize this because that is what I was looking for during many years of my spiritual path.
The difficult truth is that there is no formula for living a fulfilling life, at least not one that can be followed strategically. Life is too complicated, and we are all too unique for any general prescription to be effective.
The second reason I am often shy to offer my thoughts about how to live, is because the place in us, and we all have this place, that wants a guarantee about the future is not the awakened heart and mind of the True Self.
The True Self sees that life is inherently risky, and that things won't always go your way, but it also sees that if you surrender, let go and follow your deepest inclinations, you will be blessed even when things go wrong.
The True Self knows that the fear, doubt and insecurity that drive our desire for a guarantee, is the root cause of suffering. The True Self doesn’t want a prescription. It knows that it must meet life head on, open and vulnerable. That is the only way to maintain the delicate sensitivity that allows us to navigate gracefully through a world that can so often be harsh and unforgiving.
A few years ago, I was speaking with a friend. She was someone I admired a great deal. She was whole-heartedly and authentically pursuing fulfillment, and she shared her definition of fulfillment with me.
She said that fulfillment meant being able to do what you want, for the reasons you want, with the people you want, as much as you want. Then she added something that both flattered and shocked me. She said that I was the only person she’d ever met who was actually living it.
What shocked me was that I recognized that it was true. Over the next couple of years, I thought a lot about how my life had become so fulfilled and I started to develop the concept of ‘Spiritual Abundance' to describe it.
I realized it is not rocket science, but it's very simplicity makes it difficult to implement.
The secret to fulfillment as far as a I’ve experienced it, is knowing that life is full and good and bountiful always.
Fulfillment has nothing to do with circumstances. There are examples of people who manage to be fulfilled in all sorts of circumstances.
Fulfillment is an orientation, a mindset, a perspective on life. I call that perspective ‘Spiritual Abundance', and at its core, it is simply the recognition that life is full, good and bountiful, even when things are not going our way.
Of course, knowing this is one thing, but living it is another. To live Spiritual Abundance, we must recognize life’s fullness, but we must also be able to live as if life were full, even when it seems not to be.
This means learning to live the orientation of our True Self always, especially when we are not experiencing our True Self. This is where all the training comes in. This is what we will work with in Embracing the Gift of Spiritual Abundance.
How do we step into the open and vulnerable orientation of our True Self even when we’re mired in fear, worry and self-concern?
How can we develop a habit of living in a new way that is strong enough to carry us through the inevitable storms of life?
The key insights that make this possible are not difficult to learn, but they are very difficult to implement because they demand that we live in perfect trust.
In my upcoming program we will employ a little effort, almost everyday for seven weeks, to build a habit that can make the True Self’s abundant faith our natural attitude toward life.