Having polished the mirror of my heart with the dust from my Guru’s lotus feet, I sing the pure fame of the best of the Raghus which bestows the four fruits of life. – From Tulsidas’ Hanuman Chalisa
Many of us, when we begin getting serious about spiritual practice, do so in order to “improve” our lives and ourselves. We may be unhappy, or we may recognize faults in our outlooks or behaviors that we would like to change. We want to become better people.
The truth is that along the way we may very well note changes in our lives that we would consider to be improvements, but we aren’t really improving ourselves with spiritual practice. We are revealing ourselves.
I have come to see each of us (and for that matter, everything in our universe) as an expression of the one, changeless, eternal, divine consciousness. This source of pure light and love is projected into time and space, and becomes what we experience as material reality.
Human beings are manifestations (or reflections) of that light and love. Perfect. Limitless. Beautiful. Brilliant. Every single one of us.
But that brilliant perfection is dimmed by all of the muck and garbage that we collect from the time that we arrive in this material world. So we fail to see what we really are, and we fail to act like it.
We obsess about self-improvement, about changing ourselves, about becoming someone else. We are judgmental toward others, and loathe our own sorry selves. It is ironic that this sometimes seems especially true once we set our feet on a spiritual path.
But the process of spiritual development isn’t about becoming someone else. It’s about realizing the true self who is already there. All we have to do is clear away the garbage and muck, and there we are.
So if, by love and right living, you wash off the filth that has become stuck to your heart, the divine beauty will shine forth in you. – From a Sermon of St. Gregory of Nyssa
It is difficult to see the light in the midst of the ugliness, the meanness, the greed and hatred in this world and in ourselves. Many of us spend much of a lifetime trying to find answers, trying to find a way to mitigate the madness. We look high and low, near and far, trying to find the solution somewhere out there. I know that I did.
We won’t find the answers out there. We won’t find the answers in new and improved versions of our garbage covered mucked up personalities and egos.
We meditate. We pray. We chant. We serve others. Day by day, little by little, we polish our hearts.
See how they shine!