A steady gentle breeze sweeps over the rocks. Three ducks float past in the slightly choppy water. The jewelled surface glints in midday sunshine. A solitary seagull soars out from the shore. He keeps low over the water, then climbs, turns and drops to land on the blue ocean. On the distant horizon the deep blue ocean meets the powder blue sky, forming a perfect straight line.
Your Potential Is Not A Method
(but may employ methods from time to time)
Many people explore life in a straight line, looking to methods, systems and exercises to grow spiritually and enhance their lives. There is no harm in this provided we realize that our potential is not the method. Our potential embraces the whole of life.
Some people pray twice a day, others use rosary beads, some people eat a special diet, do yoga, or fast at certain times of the year, take vitamin pills, or go to church every Sunday. Some of these people think that because they use rosary beads or attend church on Sundays, this will change their life and lead them to salvation. This is a much too narrow view of spiritual development.
For example near where I live there is a centre that teaches meditation. Many fine people attend this centre to learn meditation. I have met a number of them. Some of these people really believe that by meditating twice a day for 20 minutes their lives will be significantly transformed. They are unconcerned that their work is meaningless and their marriage is a mess, their life is going to be revolutionised by meditation alone!
I know because I was like that myself once. Years ago I suffered from extreme depression and stress. My life was so unbearable that I had to find something to relieve the pain and give me hope of a cure. In desperation I hit upon meditation as the solution. This was going to save me and bring me back to normality. I enquired in this local meditation centre in Belfast only to be told the teacher would be away for a number of months. They didn't seem sure when he would return.
I was distraught. The method I had pinned my hopes on was unavailable. In my despair I contacted the headquarters of this meditation organisation in the UK and arranged to travel across the Irish Sea to England. Although I was very short of money at the time, I spent all my savings staying in a bed and breakfast accommodation for a month until I was trained in their meditation method.
After the month was over I returned to Belfast and began practicing the method. After a few months practicing I could see no significant improvement. I quickly realized that to restore my health was going to be a long involved process that needed work on all fronts, not just sitting meditating twice a day. Instead I stopped feeling desperate to find a cure and began listening to my calling, which guided me to make changes that affected many aspects of my life. Shortly after starting this life embracing process, I gave up their meditation method in favour of a broad sweep of other approaches. (See "Your Healing From Adversity.) I did return to and explore meditation at a later period in my life, when I had shed some of my inner pain and was feeling less distressed. Their meditation training was useful, but was not appropriate for me at the time.
There is a deep-seated desire in each of us for the quick fix, the easy option, and the simple answer. Life is complex. We need help to work it out. In order to make a significant difference we need to apply the lessons learned from our inner guidance to the whole of our lives. We need a life born of devotion to the inner call.
Methods, systems and exercises are useful provided they are part of a guided life and you are using them for as long as your intuition suggests they are useful and helpful to your personal growth. When you sense that they have had their day, it is better to drop them permanently or temporarily and move on.
Please feel free to explore methods as we follow our destiny, but be aware of their limitations. Our potential embraces the whole of life.
As I explore my potential
I discover new exciting methods.
I search the most promising.
I find the method helpful.
I find the method interesting.
I find the method healing.
But I always remember my potential
Embraces the whole of life.