Maturing the Soul

 I received a question today asking for some advice on journaling

This is my 70th post in this blog and since October 2009, I have journeled regularly and honestly about my life experiences, the obstacles and limitations, successes and failures and my consciousness along the road toward inner richness and maturity. I cannot say that I feel comfortable giving advice on journaling, but I highly recommend it.  It would be both interesting and spiritually useful for anyone to look back over the years of his or her life to see just what resulted from this or that experience.  It is amazing to see that ones life has all along contained a unique sadhana and the requirements and guidance to mature the soul.

I learned early that I preferred to write more from the bones, rather than from fantasy or intellect.  This blog is about about who I am and why I am here.  I have never tried to write poetically, nor have I taken the poetic licence of exaggeration.  I write in confidence, to myself or as an intimate letter written to a dear friend.

To be significant, journaling must reflect exactly what you observe or can recall in the moment, while remaining open and receptive to inspiration or insight.  Journaling always opens a channel of intuition. You must allow the quality of inner silence to permeate everything you write. 

I began these blog posts with my personal story of growing up spiritually, starting with my earliest most significant memory of approaching the spirit. That story begins on the first post October 9, 2009 and continues through December 2009.  I shared about my life and the people in it, and in doing so, realized the commitment to self-discovery that I had maintained for over 50 years.  I exposed my mental conditioning and emotional frailties but also talked about the light and shadows of others who traveled in and out of my life.   I revealed my process of self-discovery and my way of uncovering, through the presence of Mahavatar Babaji.   In the posts from mid October to November 13th , I began to share for the first time my pilgrimages  in India and to Santopanth Tal  and my experiences of Babaji.

 I shared my experiences and reflections at the Kumbamela in January – February 2010.  I spoke of the enlightened monks I have met and interesting teachers I have had over the years.  I have been granted many darshans and experienced such grace.  Writing about these things often overwhelming with gratitude.  Gratitude is an amazingly powerful force of transformation.

Each writing would unravel another memory or realization that I had never strayed from my path. I had  naturally, if unknowingly, been caring for and nourishing my soul since childhood.   At times a post would elicit some strong emotion from a reader too; their comments never failed to open another door to me.

I believe that the process of journaling can be a powerful spiritual tool, a means of transforming samskaras, traits, habituated impulses, over-reactioning and over-emotionality, as long as you allow your writing to expose you externally and internally.  You must be willing to see your life and yourself in the raw, so you must keep writing with a detached eye, dictating what comes up from your psyche uncensored. You must be aware to keep egoism out of the process so that you can accept the temporariness of all events and circumstances.  Then, regardless of the pain or pleasure a memory might elicit, you can see it for what it is, a projection of your mind.  All the memories are projections and most often a distortion of the truth created by the mind to produce what it wants to see in order to cause you suffering or happiness. 

So start where you are and write immediately from your experience and from your vison.  Try to drop the help of the mind.   Write from what you know to be true, without judging it as good or bad.  Write of the highs and the lows, successes and failures. You will enjoy expressing yourself fully. 

The practice of writing for me has been centering and expansive.  It has enabled me to re-unite with the presence that has been with me since I was a child and I  experienced a new wide-open presence that was willing to journal, freely.  I found myself becoming less an island unto myself, and more connected to others. 
You know, there is something that can happen along the path – a deep sorrow can set in, when you feel that after all the years of doing practices sincerely and meditating, faithfully, you still have not attained.   Journaling is a good practice to start then, because it pushes you to be more alert to what has changed over the years, what has shifted.  You recognize that the pain in your body or sorrow in your heart was not given to you to make you miserable and suffer; it was given to you to make you more aware.  Pain or sorrow is necessary I reckon and a potential stage for renewal.  Writing about the pain can often get you and your energy moving again. 

 Writing demands that the mind, which may have lost its desire to feel joy, becomes engaged and alert again… that alertness can lead you to discover that you have all you require and you need nothing more.   You discover your life, just as it is, is comfortable, just about perfect. And you are too.

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