True and lasting peace will be realized only by forging bonds of trust between people at the deepest level, in the depths of their very lives. – Daisaku Ikeda
Looking back over my years of having a spiritual practice I have noticed a couple of key principles that continue to make a difference in my life. I’ve noticed that the intent underlying my prayer has a significant influence on my daily practice, and the results I see in my life.
A while back I had an experience that demonstrates two principles that have made the biggest difference in my spiritual practice: listening and trusting that still quite voice in my life.
I had accepted an invitation to go rock-climbing with a friend, an experienced climber. It was my first experience at the time with rock climbing and something I had wanted to do for years. The experience turned out to be much more challenging than I had imagined.
My objective was simply to reach the top. I had barely begun when serious doubt crept in. I realized this was far more difficult than I had expected. But I was determined to proceed as far as I could. At the halfway point, my doubt only increased. Then I said to myself, “I can do this. I am doing it.” That affirmation lasted for another two feet.
My friend provided some good coaching and constant encouragement from below. I made it a few more feet only to be stopped, not seeing any way to go farther. I tried my friend’s suggestion of a route to the right. But it didn’t work. By then it was close to sundown, and it seemed that time was running out. I told myself, “I’ll return another day.” From below my friend shouted, “Just relax; let the harness and rope support you.” Automatically, I thought, “Think Chuck.” Then suddenly I thought, “No, don’t think. Just listen. There is nothing to figure out. Just listen and trust.”
With a calm and deep listening, I scanned the rock columns and repeated to myself, “How ever long it takes, I will stay here until I hear the way.” Then, off to the left—opposite the route my friend had suggested—it seemed as if the rocks were calling me. Trusting what I heard, I moved to the left across the rock columns. Slowly I ascended to the top. The new route worked!
My friend’s coaching and support was helpful. Yet, in the end, I had to listen and trust my own heart. There is nothing to figure out. Listen to that still, quiet voice; trust; and take action.