My beloved spiritual father and teacher, Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha tells us, "the spiritual journey is not easy." I agree, but sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be. It's also better than the alternative, slogging through life after life with no awareness of why we are doing it.
We are given teachings and tools to go along the path, we get excited and happy and apply them with great vigor and enthusiasm. Until of course, we hit a snag or nothing happens the way we want it to, or we even seem to regress. Karma jumps up with it's lessons and seeming darkness, ever ready to assist. We might become discouraged or angry, even turn away from the promised light of our true being.
The thing about trying too hard is that it's like having your foot on the hose. The flow of life is squeezed down to a trickle, which encourages us to try even harder. I had some guidance from my teacher some years ago. He said to me, in a flow from a high level teacher,
"Don't struggle. Don't search. Find the great love that is within you and share it with others. See the true soul in others and offer love and healing to them."
It's an entirely human trait to try harder. "If I just try more! Push through the blockages, make it happen through my will" Persistence is of course important. Even radical persistence. But persisting in what? Master Sha also teaches,
"The big way is very simple."
The big way is the Tao, the Infinite Source, God. That which has no striving, no words, simply is. It's important on this sometimes rocky path to just be, and allow perfect stillness that is filled with Divine Presence. This space can only exist in the moment now, with no thought process or mind chatter going on.
Humans also have difficulty believing that it's ok to give up the reins of control. That there might be something infinitely more powerful and intelligent that they, that knows the perfect way to accomplish everything. Trust is a biggie with humans, and yet we must trust and allow. Pry open the death-grip that we have on even our most precious beliefs and teachings and let the Divine do it's perfect work.
Meditation is certainly one way to do this, it's a conceding of thought and action to stillness. But even this most valuable tool may be insufficient to change entrenched thought patterns and habits. This is where a little work can come in, the work of examining the flow of words and emotions that parade through us all the time we are awake. Observe dispassionately, do forgiveness practice, release them and sit quietly waiting for the next wash of words and effort.
Let us joyfully fling wide our hands, our hearts, our minds, our souls our very being...and let the Tao do it's perfect work through us, as us. Use the tools, teach, heal, bless, become enlightened knowing that it is truly not us that does the work. We are channels, vessels. What an honor! Sometimes we just feel stuck on the path of service and enlightenment. If it will serve this process, go do something else. Walk the dogs, read some fiction, watch a loved movie, take your sweetheart to lunch.
Relax. Observe. Trust. Allow. Forgive. Ask forgiveness. Serve. Flow. Tao knows what it's doing.