“Spirituality is about learning to accept every moment in your life. It is the age old adage of “Resist nothing.”
Guest post by Jim Tolles – Spiritual Teacher, Healer, and Writer
Nowadays, finding yourself and discovering your spiritual path are big business. The self help sections and spirituality sections are bulging with books. This isn’t a problem. As far as past times go, this is one of the better ones. But the big issue that I have with a lot of these “self improvement” plans and “finding your spirit guides” techniques is that the most important teacher in your whole life can be forgotten. And that person is you.
Now, I’m a spiritual teacher. And I have an ebook, and I’m sure that I’ll have a hard cover helping to fill up book shelves (at least until ebooks mostly take over the world). But what I and others who really understand the spiritual path are telling you is that you already know your answers. You already know what path you want to take, and the real problem lies in facing your fears and doing it.
This isn’t sounding very spiritual yet. You’re like, “I could have had my mom tell me that.” I know, right? When spirituality is so practical, it’s kind of a buzz-kill. You’re like, “Aren’t I supposed to feel better and be blissed out and in love all the time?” Um. No. This isn’t a psychedelic ride. Spirituality is about learning to accept every moment in your life. It is the age old adage of “Resist nothing.” So much fear and pain is found in the resistance that we have to what is. And subsequently, if you’re seeking spirituality to find some different way of feeling, you’re most likely resisting and not-accepting what your life is currently. You’ve placed your happiness in a future moment, and that future moment does not exist. Only the present moment exists.
The Purpose of Intention and Walking a Spiritual Path
With all that said, it is important to put forth the intention to walk a spiritual path. What this means is that you’re learning how to unconditionally accept life, move from the space of your heart, and not take crap anymore. I hope you like the last one. I put it in there because sometimes people get the inaccurate view that they just become leaves that blow about in whatever wind current is moving in their lives. No. You know what you want. By accepting what is and falling in love with your life, you’ll find that there are certain things that matter to you. You’ll want to do them. And you’ll seek tools that help you clear away all the internal obstacles–the fears, resentments, and disappointments–that block you from those goals. This isn’t goal-setting in the old way. The old way says that you’ll be happy when you achieve the goal. The new way says that you’re happy with the journey towards the goal as much as the goal itself. I know. You’re like, “Please tell me something I don’t know already.”
But that’s the point. You know this already. You just haven’t seen it presented to you as spiritual before. Spirituality has been lost in dogma, robes, rituals, and other tasks for which people have forgotten the original purposes. The new teachers that are coming forth these days are telling you that all that stuff can be helpful only when you know what’s real. If you don’t really understand a ritual, you’re just going through a process. There’s no substance to it. There’s no essence. There’s no spirit. And reconnecting with spirit is essential to discover your path.
Tools for the Road Back to Yourself
You may feel frustrated. I’m not giving you the magic pill that you want. That’s not life. The illusion that there’s a magic pill to solve all of our problems is part of the problem. You have to let go of that idea. You’ll find that you have to let go of a lot of ideas. That’s far more important than acquiring new experiences. Experiences come and go; the inner still point is where the journey takes us.
To that end, many of us use techniques like the following to help stay clear:
- Tantric or Taoist sexual practices to cultivate energy
- Reading spiritual texts
- Listening to spiritual teachers on YouTube (Gotta love YouTube: check out Mooji)
There’s plenty more. I’m just naming a few places to start. But they are not goals. You will not get anything from it. You’ll find yourself having less. You’ll find that you want to have less because so much stuff clutters the mind, body, heart, and soul. You’ll find that your spiritual path is much less cluttered, confusing, or difficult than you think. It starts and ends in the same place. And that place is you.
Jim Tolles is a spiritual teacher, healer, and writer. He draws upon the beauty and truth of multiple spiritual and religious traditions and helps people come into their embodied awakening. He is the author of Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening, which can be bought on Amazon.com. Jim blogs regularly at Spiritual Awakening Process.