As Life Unfolds
Over the years, by following a spiritual path we have learned about the teachings of the saints and received initiation from our spiritual teacher. We attend numerous discourses, participate in seva activities, but most importantly, our soul has embarked on its homeward journey to fulfill its spiritual goal of achieving salvation: merging into its source, just as a drop merges into the ocean.
Meditation is the means by which we are to undertake this endeavour under the guidance of our teacher. This method is based on a foundation that includes three other fundamental principles: following a vegetarian diet, abstaining from alcohol and mind-altering substances, and living a moral and honest life. So after coming this far, we are well aware that we need to practise meditation for at least two and a half hours daily, in order to achieve our goal.
But with so much happening in the world and in our personal lives, we often relegate meditation to the back burner. Sometimes we manage to complete the course, but on other days we simply run out of time, overwhelmed by duties and obligations. We are so preoccupied with our business, managing our family, social commitments, social media, and so forth that we do not make meditation our priority.
So much time has passed in this way, and now we find ourselves still caught in the midst of a global pandemic. Every aspect of the world as we knew it has changed. Aside from the fear that has taken a toll on people’s mental health and well-being, there has been a dramatic shift in our day-to-day life, including hygiene practices, social protocols, and our sense of time. We have experienced lockdowns in which we have been forced to stay home and restrict our daily activities to the bare minimum.
The good news is that we found we now have more time. And what kept us grounded in these unprecedented and uncertain times is our spiritual life; our teacher constantly reaches out to us and reminds us in no uncertain terms that in good times and in bad, we have to do our meditation. Well, if we were too busy before the pandemic, we surely have enough time now.
As Maharaj Charan Singh reminds us:
By spiritual practice we rise so high that we can meet anything, we can know anything. We advance spiritually. Our mind becomes refined, matured, and we can know anything. That is how spirituality should help us, in developing within ourselves. It must make us a better person. If it does not, then it is not spirituality. When spirituality – that is, devotion to Shabd, Nam or the word – grows within us, all the other good qualities of a human being come in us like cream on milk. We do not have to fight in order to learn or to develop those qualities. They come automatically within us. When we have the devotion of the Lord within us, that devotion, that love brings all the qualities within us. It just transforms us; our whole outlook is changed.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II
Our karmas continue to unfold. We need to develop both purity and courage to survive in this world. There will be good times and bad times – experiences we have to undergo, in order to evolve and move closer to our goal. The Shabd unravels the coverings of our soul. This helps us cope and develop perseverance as we go through life. Ultimately, we are growing spiritually and learning to acknowledge that life unfolds as the Lord wills.