Once there was a wise spiritual teacher who was walking in a garden when approached by a young seeker who asked how to become more enlightened on his spiritual journey. The teacher, seeming to ignore the question said, “Remove that sweet berry bush over there from the shade and transplant it to that place where the soil is fertile and the sun is shining.” At first the seeker did not understand why the sage had dismissed his question, but as he proceeded to transplant the berry bush he had an “aha” experience of awakening that answered his question.
Like many spiritual stories, the meaning of this story has more than one level of understanding. The story of the sage and the seeker addresses the nature of the spiritual journey which includes removing the causes of suffering and darkness and progressing into the deeper truths in the light. While the bush may have produced some fruit in the shaded poor soil digging it up and moving it to a more favorable location parallels the need to remove oneself from what does not support or nourish us and move on to discovering the riches inherent within our deeper spiritual nature.
The challenge of transplanting ourselves lies in the fact that our lives have two dimensions and we must learn to navigate them both. Our everyday lives are occupied with physical needs that cannot be ignored. We have our careers, our families, our friends, our health, our relationships, our emotions, our intellectual needs, and our spiritual aspirations.
Our spiritual journey must include integrating how we operate our lives reconciling all aspects of our lives. The question we must ask is how to do that.
Where to Look for Directions on the Journey
As we go through life we acquire much from our teachers, families, friends, written materials, and presentations, but the realizations we search for on our spiritual journey are, for the most part, derived from our direct experiences. Books are great resources to utilize on a spiritual journey, but they are not the source of consciousness transformation or spiritual awakening. Our spiritual enlightenment is an inner transformational process that is composed of shifting consciousness beyond intellectual experiences. Therefore, they are not a direct result of anything external, and yet, events and circumstances can sometimes trigger them as in the example of the sage and the seeker.
To further illustrate this point consider the common practice of paying for products with a credit card and being asked for some identification to prevent a fraudulent transaction. Usually, a driver’s license is sufficient and yet as you well know a driver’s license is not a true representation of who you are. The driver’s license is merely a credential describing one of the things that you do, but it hardly defines or describes you. Yet if you were to look at yourself in a mirror and declare to the retailer that you can confirm that the person in the mirror is indeed you, they would laugh at you for being ridiculous.
Yet this modern parable describes two aspects of our lives. The information conveyed by our driver’s license is likely to be accurate, yet it doesn’t really help you to understand much of anything about who you truly are. On the other hand, the confirmation of identity represented by the mirrored reflection speaks to the revelations obtained through self-reflection. The leads to much deeper discoveries and realizations into your nature and reality.
The inner reflections come through attuning inwardly while meditating to transcend the analytical mind and emotionally reactive feeling states. It is through this ongoing process that you are able to realize the rewards of the spiritual journey. As you deepen into self-discovery your life reflects the inner realizations in greater degrees of happiness, fulfillment, and peace. To more deeply help you read more about my Soul Journeys program.
Having a teacher on your spiritual journey can accelerate the progress of unfolding and discovery. A good teacher can also help you avoid the pitfalls and frustrations along the way. Spiritual teachers are those who have walked the path before you and who can provide a valuable and accurate mirror of what you are reflecting. In addition, they can be a trusted friend and companion lightening your load and helping to level out your spiritual journey.