Let’s be very clear on one point. When first stated, you may think you already know it, but let’s take a deeper look: The spiritual path lies within you. Let’s say it a few different ways: Evolution is an inner process. The battlefield of human evolution is within. The spiritual journey is an inner journey. Most of your challenges, most of your karma, lie between your ears and within your heart.
Now the all-important point #2: You take that inner landscape and project it out onto the world. You have challenges: financial, emotional, logistical, moral, intellectual, personal, political, social, etc. You have obligations. You have conflicts. You have irresolvable issues. You have needs. You have made mistakes. You have hurt and have been hurt. You have many fears. You have beliefs and convictions about all of these things. Now here is the tough one: I say again, you take your inner landscape and project it onto the outer world. You convince yourself that your challenges are not about you, but about the situation you find yourself in. You decide that it is what lies outside of you that is wrong or needs attention. Oh yes, if the outer world just had it right, then you would be fine. Then you could tend to your evolution and make some real progress.
My daughter is in France for 10 days on a class trip. She had typical concerns such as who she would have to sit next to on the plane, who she would be assigned to room with, etc. This is the first time she went so far from home for so long. I found myself reflecting on what few words I would most like to say to her before she left on her journey. My first bit of advice was to stay close to the group, which she somehow turned into a funny joke about her dad telling her to not flirt with the taxi cab drivers. The second was to have a good attitude. Be a ‘player.’ Keep a positive attitude and be flexible with challenges or situations that may not be to her liking.
This made me think of my students. There are those that seem to be eternally plagued with outer world, insurmountable obstacles that torment them. Then there are those that keep going forward without getting caught up in this or that disturbance.
You are climbing a mountain. Imagine you have partners to climb that mountain with. What would you like them to be like? What kind of person would you like them to be? What kind of attitude would you like them to have? What attributes would make them the best partner along the way? How would you like to see them deal with conflict, adversity, things being not just exactly how they want them at times, and how they deal with major challenges?
In all honesty, I know of no one that can better help you with the inner journey than I. And I say to you, be that person. Never stop. Keep your eye on the ball. Stay one pointedly focused on climbing that mountain. Do not be distracted by your preconceived notions or the outer world. People come up with innumerable reasons to not keep their priorities straight. Your number one priority must be your evolution.
Attitude is everything.