Is the spiritual path one of the five most important things in your life? For most people, it is not. Spirituality is something they do on the side. When life is quiet and not stressful. In this article, we will explore why it is so difficult to make meaningful progress if spirituality is not one of your top priorities and how you can fix it.
Meditation is a skill
Like any other skill, meditation has to be practised in order to yield the promised results. Besides all the benefits that meditation is usually promoted for, the purpose of it is actually to facilitate insight into the nature of reality and therefore ones' true self. For this purpose, it is not enough to meditate for a couple of minutes when the schedule allows it.
Actually, the mind has to be focused on that goal for extended periods of time. If you are not a monk or retired or otherwise able to dedicate much of your time to formal meditation practice, Karma Yoga is highly recommended as the primary spiritual practice.
Karma Yoga teaches us that we can practise mindfulness while we are working. And not only at work, but during every activity we do. The biggest problem with Karma Yoga is forgetfulness. You have to overcome the initial period where this practice is not yet an established habit for you. In order to do this, I recommend setting regular reminders throughout the day. This can help somewhat and because it does not take much effort, every beginner should do it.
But there is more to it. You have to first develop a burning desire for truth. To know what this existence is, what your relationship to the larger whole is, what consciousness is, what God is, what experience is, why anything exists... Those existential questions need to be really important to you. You really have to want to know and you cannot be satisfied with easy answer or copouts. The answer should feel at least as significant as the question.
Why is that important? During your self-inquiry and meditation practice, you will have to overcome many really difficult obstacles. The task ahead of yourself is the greatest challenge you will face in your life. It will demand that you are willing to give up everything. In order to gain the highest insights and everything, you could have ever hoped for and more, your will to contemplate these questions needs to be stronger than any personal comforts. Because you need to have the ability to practice mindfulness every second of the day.
In Karma Yoga practice, life itself becomes the object of meditation and eventually, there cannot be any gap anymore in your mindfulness.
Bring to your consciousness the following statement:
Every single second that you ever have or will experience is nothing other than God itself. It is divine existence, conscious but empty of inherent existence and infinitely blissful. There is a reason why you do not experience it that way. Your perception is clouded. It divides the world into self and other, into good and bad.
Karma Yoga practice becomes really powerful if you manage to remember that every experience you have is actually part of the infinite creation, God itself.
Go all the way
Once you have stable mindfulness in all daily activities and you are almost always in the witnessing consciousness, you can take the practice to the next level.
While you are witnessing the flow of life, continuously contemplate:
What is always the same in all of the different experiences?
What does never change?
Do not cling to any particular experience, let go of everything the moment it arises.
What is true, prior to any experience?
Where is everything arising?
Combining your daily mindfulness practice with this contemplative process will yield great results and can actually take you all the way to enlightenment. And the great thing about it is that time is not a constrain. You can do it always and everywhere.
Maybe you are still thinking that you cannot do it during your work because you have to concentrate on difficult tasks. Start doing this practice at all times except for the ones where you need full concentration. But eventually, you will find that your mindfulness practice takes you to a mental place that is beyond the doer. It does not interfere with concentration or creativity at all. Being the witness consciousness that you actually are is beyond every form and it actually cannot do anything in the world. The idea that you are the doer is an illusion itself. And once you go beyond that illusion, life just flows without the need for a doer.
Give Karma Yoga a try
and never stop. Even if you have a regular dedicated meditation practice, you can still benefit greatly from it and eventually make your whole life part of your practice. You can even take this practice all the way to the deepest realizations. The biggest factors in your success will be your intention, focus and long-term dedication to the process.