My two favorite definitions of spiritual attainment are:
~the quality of one’s heart
~the degree to which can show up to one’s own self.
In our world of quick fixes and mental engagement, much of the current culture is in a mad dash to attain spiritual enlightenment. This desire for spiritual enlightenment often entails abandoning focus on one’s own personal evolution in exchange for generalized theories and ideas about states to be attained.
The unglamorous, unexotic truth is that deep and profound evolution is only possible when we show up to our own individual shadow work. The places where we harbor emotional injury, self judgment and inauthenitic ways of engaging bar us from true evolution. Showing up to these dark places is the only way to authentic participation.
We have inherited schools of thought and modes of teaching and instilling knowledge that may have worked in other cultures or other times. However, they do not fit the requirements of this age. Our commitment to learning – our belief that knowledge holds the key – leaves us vulnerable to avoidance of deep matters of the heart.
Finding a practitioner who has done the work of truly showing up and pursuing his or her own personal journey of healing the heart is not easy. When you look beyond someone’s credentials and intellectual expertise and ask -can this person show up to all aspects of his or her own self- the credentials no longer have relevance.
If the capacity to be present in one’s heart, to gain greater and greater depth in one’s ability to show up to oneself feels like the way to true presence- then the road home leads in, not out to some spiritual philosophy.