Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. School is out. Beaches beckon. The barbecue gets fired up. Vacations are planned. And we might laze around in a hammock under a tree, reading a favorite book. A little idealized, but sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s a time to lighten up and simplify. It’s a perfect time for a simple spiritual practice.
For significant spiritual growth, only one simple tool is required. It is merely necessary to select any simple spiritual principle that is appealing and then proceed with its application, without exception, to every area of life, both within and without. For example, one could choose kindness, compassion, forgiveness, understanding or uncritical acceptance. One could choose to be unconditionally loving or committed to seeing the innocence of life.
These are the words of David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. excerpted from his book The Eye of the I. Dr. Hawkins is an astute writer of high intellect and one who speaks of enlightenment from personal experience. His book, Power vs. Force, is nothing short of brilliant and highly recommended. What he tells us about kinesiology (muscle testing — a practice I use in my own work) is ground breaking.
When we choose a simple practice to follow, the intention is to stay true to it in all actions and in thought, word, and deed. Most of us do quite well until we get to the thought part. Yes, even what we think must adhere. You can see how powerful this kind of activity can be. And, by the way, you engage the practice toward yourself as well. Think how comforting and healing it is on that level alone.
In yoga and much spiritual work, we are taught to strive to be the Self, with a capital S. Not the small self, the one attached to this world and body. This is the higher Self, the one we know is connected to eternal love and truth. This is the Self that continues AFTER we leave the body, the one sometimes called the Spirit or Soul. We learn to be vigilant of the influence of the ego that throws us into judging and destructive behavior and can cause us to remember the Self. After I heard for years all the warnings about the ego and its negative aspects , how to avoid them and even destroy them (a little too violent for me), I thought it more constructive to focus on the positive attributes of the Self and the great qualities we ALL hold in common. Here is the list I use, (though many more words may apply):
Eternal Blissful Loving Nonjudging Content
Divine Light Calm Peaceful Trusting
Now you may think these words describe someone rarely seen on earth, someone who has gained sainthood, and rubs elbows only with the most enlightened beings. You would be right about some of that. What is truly shocking for most of us is that we ALL carry those traits within us, right now. They may not be seen or obvious, but they are there, waiting for us to notice. Waiting for us to believe in them and in ourselves.
So choosing any simple word to “practice” a spiritual principle leads us to recognize our own goodness, our own Self. Wouldn’t it be something if, this summer, you put down your glass of lemonade, gazed off into the distance and thought to yourself, “Mmmm, I like the “me” sitting here. Maybe I actually am the highly vaunted Self and all those traits ARE mine.” How revolutionary could that be?
For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com