There’s something in many of the holy scriptures about 40 days…it is a common theme across cultures and religions. In the Sikh faith, 40 days are used for spiritual practice and to implement consciousness shifts. Many Masters have done their own forms of spiritual practice for that amount of time. I used to wonder what that was all about.
I remember reading and hearing about Jesus’ 40 days and 40 nights…many times over. He went out to pray…went out in solitude…went out to fast…went out to meet the Darkness head-on. There’s a mystery and a magic to showing up for God that many days in a row…there’s a scientific explanation for why what you are working on, works, when you do.
The Masters who walked this Earth must have gone through feeling alone on their paths. To be in solitude for 40 days is a lot of alone time. Not too many other people are willing to take on this kind of spiritual practice for the sake of opening to God. In our day and age…it appears to be pretty rare actually. How many people do you know who do that for real? How many would be willing to give up convenience and comfort, for sitting in solitude in the wilderness…just to open oneself up enough to hear the voice of God? Can you imagine the reaction of family and friends if you decided to do that? Hmmm.
As I walk further down this spiritual pathway, I am learning about spiritual practice and how it changes your life.
I was emailing a friend/teacher of mine about this…about how I sometimes feel so darn different from people around me that I love…and how my choices now, are not my choices of the past…and it appears to offput those I love because my focus is on God so much, and no longer on the wild ride of past habits and pleasures. I deeply took in what he wrote to me this morning and wanted to share it with you here…
“I was wondering how you were! I had tears in my eyes as I recalled the reluctance of my own surrender to aloneness….it does at times cause a deep sense of grieving. When sat with long enough, the grief turned to compassion. Compassion lead to service to humanity….but only on my terms and in ways that are ‘”clean” for those involved.
I promise you and I think that you are quickly realizing that once you have committed to the path of consciousness there is no escape…there is no escape from the trials and there is also no ‘escape’ from the ecstatic moments. Those moments for me are when I see someone I have helped walking through another door of ‘Initiation’. I have had many of those moments reading your e-mails. They are also at the times I get to do Ritual with enlightened beings…and always come unexpected.
I am also reminded that alone is simply a perception of EGO. It is a judgment upon the self observation that others do not understand me. Often times for me it is simply forgetting that I am One with all there is all the time and I just need to stop and look. It is always there within me.
I suppose I would not appreciate the sense of all there is unless I periodically fell into the feeling of isolation. I think this idea of up and down is what so many teachers refer to as the inescapable MAYA. For me, The cycles get less and less. I trust that as you discover how deep the habitual patterned responses of the EGO go you will experience less ups and downs.”
Mmmmm…discovering how deep the “habitual patterned responses of the ego, go.” What a trip to uncover yet another layer of ego…one that was completely invisible…until it was not. What a trip to see layers in other people, that are totally invisible to them. What a gift humility and compassion have become to me…a gift from the ego, from the darkness. Imagine that.
Today marks the beginning of 40 days for me…working a specific spiritual practice for specific reasons…and staying open to the hand of God that works for me always, all ways. 40 days seems like a very long time to remember to do certain things every day. I shall have to find ways to remind myself to God over and over again…it’s just that important to me. I shall have to be willing to face more layers of ego I’m sure…and continue to do my practice even in the midst of fears, emotions, habitual patterns, and unresourceful voices.
“So what?” as one of my favorite teachers always says. Yeah, so what?
Time to get to work.
* * * * * * *