We start the spiritual life wherever we are, not running away from society, but right in the midst of life. –Eknath Easwaran
We’ve been talking a lot among the YA Blog Team about the idea of harmony with others. Our days are full of interactions with friends, coworkers, neighbors, family, and strangers, and often we find some of these interactions difficult to navigate. In fact, sometimes managing all these relationships can be overwhelming! This week we’d like to share an audio talk from Easwaran where he speaks about living in harmony with others, and oneself.
In the midst of personal struggles, it can seem as if our spiritual practice might be easier if we could somehow take off and leave those challenges behind, but Easwaran always viewed the landscape of personal relationships as the perfect place to practice the spiritual life.
To meditate and live the spiritual life we needn't drop everything and undertake an ascent of the Himalayas or Mount Athos or Cold Mountain. There are some who like to imagine themselves as pilgrims moving among the deer on high forest paths, simply-clad, sipping only pure headwaters, breathing only ethereal mountain air.
Now it may sound unglamorous, but you can actually do better right where you are. Your situation may lack the grandeur of those austere and solitary peaks, but it could be a very fertile valley yielding marvelous fruit. We need people if we are to grow, and all our problems with them, properly seen, are opportunities for growth. Can you practice patience with a deer? Can you learn to forgive a redwood? But trying to live in harmony with those around you right now will bring out enormous inner toughness.
In the talk this week, Easwaran shares practical tips and wonderful anecdotes about finding harmony with others, and with ourselves.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about the talk in the comments below:
- What strategy about personal relationships stood out to you?
- Was there any other aspect of the talk that struck you?