My Spiritual Quest by Owen
My spiritual quest began in earnest back in the autumn of 2000 when I was 60 years-old. That's late in life to start anything new. I'm no expert in spiritual matters. Most of what I know, I've learned from books. I have no guru, no group of like-minded seekers whom I meet with for meditation; nor have I done any traveling to countries like India to stay at ashrams with enlightened mystics. My path is a solitary one. Odd as that may seem, I know it's the right path for me, and I plan to stay on it.
Like the mystics from all cultures, I believe that my body is just a form; just a wave in the Ocean of Being, the Universal Soul, which I call God.
There are 9 billion human "waves," most of whom see themselves as separate from all the other waves. Our limited human senses don't permit us to see that vast ocean of energy which connects every living being with every other being.
But the day will come when my wave, my body, will crash onto the beach, and I will die. Or rather, my form will die. But my soul, my Life Force, will return to the Ocean of Being, just like the water in a wave which crashes onto the beach. My soul is eternal, and so is yours. Bodies die, but souls do not.
The mystics I trust tell me that I can, while still alive, come to know that soul which is within me. Not just believe in my soul, but come to know it; that instead of living "out" of my mind and body, I can live my remaining years as an enlightened man who sees the world the way it really is. And if I can become enlightened, self-realized, that when I die, I won't be subject to rebirth, I won't have to endure more incarnations, but will merge with the Universal Soul, God, in a dazzling realm of light; that God will immerse me in total, unconditional love; a love that is peaceful and calm, infinitely warm and infinitely caring.
If that's true, then my task is to spiritual ripen until the day that my "fruit, my soul is ripe enough to make that jump into the enlightened state. I spend much of
each day doing things which help me to ripen spiritually. And I know my regimen is working, because I am a very different man than I was in 2000; a much better man in every way. Will I live long enough to become self-realized? I have no idea. But I do know that this path, this quest, is what I have to do with the rest of my life, however long it may be.
So what I'm going to do, is give you a list of books that were important to me. If you don't learn from books, then my advice won't be of much use. Other people can point you to gurus or ashrams where you may apprentice yourself, but that is not my way.
You can research most of these books at online bookstores like Amazon.com
1) WORDS TO LIVE BY by Eknath Easwaran.
2) THE ESSENTIAL RUMI by Coleman Barks.
3) THE MYSTICISM OF SOUND AND MUSIC by Hazrat Inayat Khan
4) THE BOOK OF SECRETS by Osho.
5) THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle.
6) IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP by Andreas Moritz.
7) EVERYDAY GRACE by Marianne Williamson.
8) AWARENESS by Anthony de Mello
9) LIVING WITH THE HIMALAYAN MASTERS by Swami Rama
10) THE SPONTANEOUS FULFILLMENT OF DESIRE by Deepak Chopra
11) YOUR SIXTH SENSE by Belleruth Naparstek.
One book will lead to another. I read with a highliter and red pen at hand. When a passage resonates with me, I mark it. Later, I go back, and copy it out by hand, or photo-copy the passage. Then I add the new insights to a three-ring binder which is labeled Mystical Insights. This binder will, in effect, become your own personal library of all the important insights you came across. I've found that when I read the Insights binders, as I do almost every night (there are now 11 of them). I get far more from the passages than I noticed when I first read them. Consider doing this if you can find the time.
Mediation in some form is also very important. So are prayers and affirmations. So are mantras, at least for me. I've been saying mantras since 2000. They are integral to my life. The most important one, which isn't in any book, was whispered to me in a dream by the Deva of my Soul. At least I think it was her.
I hope some of what I've said, resonates with you, Every great saint has known a Dark Night of the Soul, including Jesus, who cried out on the cross, "My God!
My God! Why hast Thou forsaken me?" So don't let your doubts get you down. Listen to your Deep Intuition about which path to follow. And then give that path, that particular quest, your very best effort. Try to see God in everyone and everything. Believe that we're all connected to that ocean of energy. If you do all that, I think, over time, you'll feel yourself spiritually ripening. It's a wonderful feeling! And perhaps the best part is that other people will feel it, too. They will
notice a significant change in you.
Good luck on your quest,
You will be in my prayers and my thoughts.
Be At Peace.