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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Dance of Mind and Spirit - By Jeff Keller


I've discovered that an essential part of our spiritual growth is the interplay between mind and spirit.  This relationship is shifting and evolving all the time.

Some spiritual traditions speak in very hostile terms about
 the mind, as if the mind must be annihilated so that spirit can blossom.  I don't see it that way.  As long as we are in   
human form, we need our mind to live and function in the world.  There is no point in trying to kill the mind or to treat it as an enemy.

On the other hand, we do need to keep the mind on a short leash - or else it can cause quite a bit of mischief.  In
 today's world, most people are overly enamored with the mind.   
It is the mind that judges, compares and criticizes. Spirit does none of those things.

When the mind is very active and full of judgment, spirit is
 pushed into the background.

How can we know the right mix for us between mind and spirit? I sense that the key is to let spirit lead the dance.  

How do we know whether mind or spirit is leading?  Here are a few of my observations, which may or may not resonate with you.

Mind is leading the dance when we are thinking of past and future.   
Spirit is leading the dance when we are present.

Mind is leading the dance when thoughts are raging.   
Spirit is leading the dance when mind is quiet (although not necessarily silent).

Mind is leading the dance whenever you feel troubled.   
Spirit is leading the dance when you feel calm...even in the midst of turmoil.

Mind is leading when we're judging and feeling any
 constriction in the body, emotionally and physically.   
Spirit is leading when we are open, non-judgmental and loving.

Mind is leading when we're searching and obsessing about something or someone.   
Spirit is leading when we are quiet enough to allow wisdom to speak to us and guide us.

Mind is leading when our prayers amount to begging for conditions WE want.   
Spirit is leading when our prayer is to surrender to God's Will and when we have gratitude for whatever unfolds.

Mind is leading when we resist.   
Spirit is leading when we allow.

Mind is leading when we are afraid of change.   
Spirit is leading when we are willing to flow with change and embrace whatever comes.

Mind is leading when we think we know what is best for the
 world and everyone in it.   
Spirit is leading when we put our arrogance aside and acknowledge that God is in control.

Mind is leading when we think we know all about God or how this mysterious universe operates.   
Spirit is leading when we realize how little we know and how limited our human understanding is.

Mind is leading when the majority of our focus is on the physical body and our material objectives.   
Spirit is leading when we are in touch with our eternal divine essence and see that essence in everything and everyone.

Mind is leading when we feel love for a reason - such as being
 in the presence of a person we find pleasing, or when  circumstances are to our liking.   
Spirit is leading when we feel love for no reason at all, when we need no stimulation to experience love because we ARE love.

Mind is leading when we want to be right.   
Spirit is leading when we are content to just BE.

I recognize that each of you may have a different idea of what Mind or Spirit means. Regardless of your definitions, I invite
 you to take a moment to observe how the dance of mind and spirit is operating in YOUR life.  Each person's experience of mind and spirit will vary, and I welcome your insights.