Shortcuts in spiritual practice.
I believe it is human nature to seek after the shortest paths that lead to an immediate reward. Our day to day life in this world influenced by the marketing bombing and technological environment invites us to obtain without proper proportion an instant gratification on all our activities and the spiritual practice, no matter what type of practice it is, I approach it with the same behaviour and expectation in mind, without exception.
As a yoga practitioner, at the very early stage of my practice, I find a great reward on the physical level, simply by moving and re accommodating the “chi” energy in my body. Yoga classes as a beginner bring me satisfaction and comfort on the physical level so I think that if I can keep practicing on certain specific way I may increase this level of satisfaction over a short time period, extremely short I may add and I try to figure a prompt and effective way to practice that lead me to that result and …..oh surprise! … suddenly I realize that once that short period of time is over, I am not only getting the desired benefits expeditiously, but I notice that I am stocked in my practice and certain extent of some physical discomfort is manifested. And then, emotional disorders of frustration, anguish, pain in my heart, depression commence to appear, nothing in this world satisfies me. I start to contemplate thoughts that are telling me to abandon and quit my practice.
The goal of all spiritual practice is to create full awareness and concentration , by focusing, for example, in my yoga practice in my breath, to be able to listen to my body and practice by recognizing its limits with the right understanding and the right guide. All of a sudden I am lost in the forms of my practice, paying attention to the positions by a mere physical motivation rather than trying to get to the real cause of my aches and welfare.
Likewise, as a zen practitioner, when I started my practice of meditation , something similar happens to me as it also occurs with my yoga practice. By meditating as difficult as it may seem, my mind gets calmer and more quite and I perceive mental well-being that soon expands to the emotional and physical level. And suddenly I want to see what is the way to practice that I can accelerate and intensify the results promptly. Certainly, I want to manifest a new reality immediately, since the one I’m creating is not my cup of tea. Awareness is a single solution to all problems.
And here is where I can refer and apply to the valuable teachings of Master Miao Tsan, who tells me that there are no such shortcuts in spiritual practice, well if there is one …. then that “shortcut” is the one that leads me to realize my true and primordial nature …. that path is the only “shortcut” that will allow me to achieve the manifestation of a healthy body and harmonious relationships, of acts of infinite compassion and innate wisdom. Dwelling in the nature of my mind, is a process where the cultivation of tolerance and patience are essential since this purification process probably take me more time than the one I have provided in this human realm.
So as Master says, keep practicing….