Excerpt About Enlightenment Drive

Effect of the Enlightenment Drive on Spiritual Practice

When our motive to practice issues from the enlightenment drive, then it has become our own motivation. We don’t practice because we think it is a good idea. We don’t practice because somebody else seems to be having a good life and we want one like it. We don’t practice because our wife is involved in the work and we want to join her. That may be how we begin but, at some point, the motivation to practice becomes ours—our own enlightenment drive wakes up, or we wake up to it. We recognize then that we have our own true motivation to practice and to engage the work. And, as we’ve seen, practice is not only formal practice like inquiry, prayer, or meditation, but also the general orientation and attitude of continuing to be present, continuing to be real. Practice is the interest and the motivation and the intention and the devotion and the dedication engaged in a continual way.
Practice does not become continual practice until the enlightenment drive wakes up in the belly center, which has to do with application and actual functioning. We can have the idea of practice and the love of practice without actually doing it. We might love the truth, but that doesn’t mean we will engage it. We might be interested in enlightenment and think it sounds like a great idea to be enlightened and free and to free other people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will engage the practices. Our interest in and love of practice won’t automatically mean that we engage practice in a continual way. For that to happen, the soul will need to mature so that the enlightenment drive begins to express itself through the belly center, what is called the Hara or the Kath center. This is the center of grounding in actual life, the center of action, which takes functioning from the realm of idea and feeling to that of action and direct down-to-earth engagement.

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