Nov 08


Balance is probably too conceptual a term to use regarding the spiritual path. It is not a mathematical or intellectual idea on how to create or maintain equilibrium by figuring out a lot of details and then discerning whether the proper balance has been achieved. What many do when they have a daily practice, is to force themselves to do something (meditation, yoga, etc) for a predetermined period of time whether it is needed or not. Somehow, the idea of discipline is all important, as if they were conditioning themselves for a major sporting event. Their hope is that by putting in the requisite time they will achieve their goals. If an important goal of the spiritual life is sensitivity, then overly structured practice will create an insensitivity to the needs of the body and/or psyche. In practical terms, this means that we need to become aware of and listen to our physical and spiritual needs. Some only need a few minutes to tune out the world to renew themselves, and then they return to their regular activities. Others may require 20 or minutes of meditation, or perhaps just a quiet place. There are so many possibilities that one may utilize to enhance their well-being, and none of them require strict discipline if one is sensitive. To put this in broader context, if one feels the need to tune out, then one should take whatever time is needed to get their life focused. For some, this may mean a short walk, a day hike, or two weeks on the trail. Or perhaps a quiet place nearby where nature is abundant; or a short retreat to a serene location; or a longer retreat to a wilderness hermitage. The balance you seek should be an internal balance or equilibrium that keeps the interior focus on your path clear.

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