People are reading many great spiritual teachings. This is a boon for increasing awareness. But for the majority of people I encounter, these teachings are kept at a conceptual level. For teachings to truly make a difference, they need to be integrated into your life.
Most know the teaching of being present
in the experience that you are in. I have heard this in countless intellectual discussions. But how many of us integrate it into our lives? Are we willing to look at what prevents or distracts us from being present? Are you willing to confront the fears and karmic patterns that underlie your tendency to drift away from being present. Are you becoming more present? Until then, the teaching has limited value.
My teacher constantly challenged his students' spirituality with, "If it doesn't plant corn, what good is it?"
To progress further in our spiritual evolution, we have to go deeper. We must be willing to honestly look at ourselves. We have to create a practice or program to integrate the concepts into our lives.
This is why I utilize sharing circles in workshops and personal programs in coaching sessions. Modalities like these allow integration by allowing you to experience the truth for yourself and understand how it applies to your life. Then it becomes your truth- not Eckhart Tolle's or Pema Chodrons's. The I Ching (Wilhelm Baynes edition) refers to this as it "makes the material the student's own."
Then you walk with and embody the teaching. This what true teachers do. Your integrated truth touches everyone you encounter. It makes a difference naturally on a day-to-day basis.
And it plants corn.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.