The fall season is coming. The light of the sun becomes less and less, the weather outside becomes colder. Sitting inside, in a comfortable place, protected from the elements outside, how fortunate we are. We can see that strong wind and chill outside – we are aware of it but we are not much affected by it. We can only imagine what it must feel like to be in that wind.
Our spiritual practice is like that shelter from the elements outside. We are aware of challenges that are out there, yet we are not affected by them. Sitting in the shade of our spiritual practice, we are able to enjoy life. Challenges or hardships don’t go away – they are there. But this space that we create with our effort provides us shelter and protection in our lives.
What is a “spiritual practice”? A spiritual practice is any effort we make to connect with the Divine, our own inner richness, our Higher Self, the best we can be.
Many times our minds will imagine and get stuck on the worst case scenario. Although our actual reality may be totally different, because of the nature of our mind, we have a tendency to flow towards fear and other negative emotions. If we pay attention to the way our mind is, we can save ourselves from so much unnecessary stress and worry. Whenever we find ourselves flowing into negativity, it is a good time to stop, take a step back and take a look at our fears. How real are they? Are our thoughts serving a higher purpose? This is called, being a friend to ourselves.
What does it mean to be a true friend? A true friend is the one who encourages us of our capability to come from a higher place. When we are flowing towards fear, anger and resentment, a true friend reminds us that we are capable of thinking in another way.
There are moments in our life when we feel uninspired, void of devotion, there is no faith, there is nothing higher in life to bow to. When we are feeling that emptiness and lack of gratitude and trust in our spirituality, the best remedy in this day and age is sangha – good company. By being in the vibration of those people or thoughts or even animals or plants who inspire us, we find support. And when we do things like this, we are being a true friend to ourself. These efforts build that safe space inside where we can sit in and be protected from the elements of the challenging world.
May we continue on our journey to know our true Self and may our spiritual practice be that shelter in our lives.