I believe that spiritual growth under the right conditions is as natural as breathing…and the conditions of our world are the perfect conditions for spiritual growth. The person you are right now, with all of your challenges and strengths, pain and joys, failures and victories, is exactly the perfect person for the journey ahead. And your life, exactly as it is, is offering you the exact conditions to stimulate growth.
My intention for this article is to share with you why I believe that existence is an unending emergence of pure love, a perfect and continuous homecoming, in spite of and in a sense because of, all the tragedy, pain and the unnecessary suffering that is endured by so many of us. I would start by asserting that the degree to which we recognize that suffering is unnecessary is evidence that somewhere we already know that love is the ground of existence.
This universe was born out of love and our desire for spiritual fulfillment is an expression of that love, an extension of that love, and the fulfillment of that love. Human life is challenging. We find ourselves caught in the middle between the Reality of Love and the actuality of suffering. I feel certain that suffering is actual, but not real. Only Love is Real.
What is Love? Love is what we feel when we recognize something that is worth devoting our life to. The things we love are the things that make life worth living. They allow us to feel at home in the world and relax deeply and completely into the experience of being.
We wake up in a world that often feels harsh and alien to us. It is unpredictable and beyond our control. We experience pain and suffering and we learn to protect ourselves from the perceived dangers that surround us. Some of us experience tremendous hardship, others have a relatively easier time, but no one is completely unscathed by the challenges of existence. We are all wounded and in need of healing.
Because we have been hurt we conclude at a deep and unconscious level that we do not belong here. The beginning of our spiritual search is an attempt to discover where we truly belong. We imagine that we are lost and we feel compelled to find our way home. We have fallen out of love and long to rediscover the love that we know is our true home.
Our early seeking is a series of attempts, often meandering and haphazard, to find our way home. We try practices, workshops, methods, communities, and teachers. Each time we wonder if this is it. Is this where I belong? Is this my home?
We feel certain that we will know we are home when we fall in love. The experience of falling in love is the experience of realizing that this is it. It is the feeling we have when we realize we have come home. On our journey home we may fall in love for a time only to realize that this is not it, and we move on to try again. Luckily, our efforts, if we are sincere and resolute, will be rewarded with periodic awakenings that light the way.