daily practice

If the soul is thought of as clay, it can be difficult to mould or to shape.  There is a certain resistance or inertia to change embedded in one’s human nature. If one can achieve constructive change in one’s self, there is always the possibility of reverting to an earlier form or going back to bad habits (relapsing, or backsliding so to speak).

 

blue butterfly 2

 

 

One sees “holy” men and women frequently carrying a copy of their religion’s scriptures.  By frequently reading and contemplating on these scriptures, they are better able to stay on the path they have chosen.  It is the ongoing practice that helps to keep a person on the path of spiritual growth and maturation. And, because old ways die hard, ongoing, frequent practice or daily inner work is necessary.  (There really is no “lazy man’s path to enlightenment”. There is no way of “cramming” for spiritual progress as some try to do for their final exams in college.)

It is the constant reinforcement each day that helps to make the positive changes in yourself second nature to you, or more permanent parts of your consciousness.

Progress on the path takes time and effort.  The key is staying the course and remaining focused on the present.  (Some may say here that the journey itself is the destination.)  The main point here is that progress is possible.

For an analogy from the world of sport: The strongest weightlifters started with relatively light weights in their training.  But, they kept pushing to achieve more.  They do not normally make straight line progress.  Plateaus of little or no progress are encountered, endured, and eventually passed through. After many months and years of strength training, the experienced weightlifter can lift much, much more than when he started out.

Keep at your daily practice and do not be discouraged if you feel that you are not making progress.  Sometimes, progress comes in fits and spurts, and at times it comes unexpectedly.

In due course, the lowly caterpillar blossoms forth from its cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.

(Our featured image above was taken at an exhibit in October, 2015.)

other related thoughts

Is it possible that some of the trials, the tests or challenges or obstacles we encounter in life do help us to grow in understanding, in perspective or outlook?  Do these, often painful experiences, help us to mature and serve to build our strength of character?

As well, do we let our experiences define us?

That is something to think on.

We need to rise above our experiences, even the painful ones.  If we do not, we risk becoming disheartened and limiting ourselves.  We may have had bad experiences even though we are not bad individual persons.

Recommended reading:

https://larrysmusings.com/2014/06/04/this-world-is-a-forge-so-said-the-zen-master/

Copyright 2016 – larrysmusings.com

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