Engaged spiritual practice
Genuine spiritual practice is a full-time enterprise. The innumerable changing circumstances of each day provide endless opportunities for applying enlightened action. From the yoga mat to the meditation cushion to all Nine Petals of our life. Walking. Standing. Sitting. Lying down. We're always practicing.
It's a matter of applying the teachings in our own daily life and choosing to embody what we know to be true and virtuous. This is engaged spirituality. Everyday enlightenment. The conditions have never been more ideal for this type of awakened action. It's a matter of gathering our courage and resolve, discarding bargaining and excuses, and deciding to make spiritual life a priority.
As our formal practice matures, it will naturally spill over into all aspects of our life. We find ourselves practicing good posture, natural breathing, and meditative presence in everything we do. Sitting on the subway becomes a practice. Standing in line at the grocery store becomes a practice. In a sense, our practice has gone beyond the confines of a specific time and space. This is a wonderful confirmation that it has become rooted in our bones. After we have practiced consistently for some months, years, decades, there is an unstoppable momentum carrying us forward. Practice has become a central part of our life, forever.
It may seem at this point that formal practice is no longer necessary. Nevertheless, we keep attending to our formal practice. A sincere cultivator upholds their daily formal practice until the last breath leaves their lips (and even beyond). This is not done out of obligation. It is done in pure joy. There is no denying the fact that practice is difficult at times. It takes discipline and diligence. Sometimes we just don't want to do it. Facing our laziness, fear and self-delusion can be excruciating. Yet the rewards vastly outweigh the investment of time and energy.
The heart opens. The body heals. The spirit soars.
The result of sincere spiritual practice is incomparable happiness, peace and bliss. Radiant Awakening. This is why we place practice at the center of life, and choose not to go a single day without it.