I came across this quote by Ram Dass this morning, and it set me to thinking…
“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can't be organized or regulated. It isn't true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.”
― Ram Dass
It seems true to me that the path is highly personal. Certainly it has meant for me that something like a Buddhist monk’s life hasn’t been explored by me. There was a point where I considered it, about eight years ago, but then I read Stephen Batchelor’s Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist and found that he had saved me from many years of living in that way.
So if I were to further consider the Ram Dass quote, and “listen to my own truth”, what has dedicating my time to spirituality meant to me and what has it brought me? And how to continue from here?
First, the methods I have followed to date:
For me, it has resulted in just a few guidelines which I try to apply constantly…
I have gone through a purification of the body and the spirit, but whether this has resulted in me being better off is something I’m not certain of. I have noticed that a long standing tingle in my body has vanished over the last few days. This has meant a kind of sea change in what I perceive of my body… I had always associated that tingle with a sort of energy. Not sure what this means, but it’s different.
U.G. says that there is no breakthrough which one can work towards, that it all happens automatically. So in that way, a spiritual journey doesn’t necessarily mean ‘doing’ things like retreats or courses, it may mean that ‘doing’ as such is not necessary. Still I like to share insights, helping inspire people is a way of improving the world.
The reading and writing of spiritual literature sets my mind to work in a certain way, perhaps it is so that that state of mind is something that I associate with spirituality.
What does “living a spiritual life” mean to you?