by Michael Maciel
Like a washing machine, our lives can be seriously out of balance as long as we’re just plodding along. But when our circumstances change, such as entering into a new relationship, a new job, or moving to a different city, our pace of life increases dramatically, and our imbalances become amplified. The washing machine starts walking across the floor, destroying everything in its path and eventually shakes itself apart.
There’s a saying that people tend to find God at the end of their rope. It’s in the face of utter failure that we discover who we really are. There’s no more solid a place to stand and find one’s footing than rock-bottom. But such events are usually the catalysts that bring us to the spiritual path. They should never happen as a result of having set foot upon it.
It is for this reason that spiritual schools have throughout history demanded strict moral development of their students, that they be able to demonstrate superior levels of self-control. Because once the energy of spiritual practice kicks in, it’s too late to make those in-depth adjustments, the imbalances that heretofore could be safely ignored. When the spin cycle begins, all hell will break loose, so it’s better to begin the process of spiritual acceleration with the most pressing adjustments already in place.
This is why obedience to the teacher is so important, why renunciation and strict adherence to the rules of your practice are so critical to your success. When your teacher tells you to do something that you don’t want to do, do it anyway. When you know you should be meditating, meditate, whether you feel like it or not. By working against your “natural” inclinations, you bring that which is out of balance into balance, and your further spiritual development is assured.