solution to the problem of the day is the awakening
of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity within.
-- Hazrat Inayat Khan
Can you make a flower grow? Probably your
first response is, "Such a simple thing to do.
Plant a seed in some dirt, provide sunlight and water
and in time a flower will emerge. The proof is that
there are millions upon millions of flowers sprouting
all over the world at this moment!"
That is certainly true. However, I am
inviting you to reread the question and consider who
or what generates the life that makes a flower grow,
because the who or what is the source of solutions to
all our problems.
Who or what causes the flower seed to
blossom, and the tiny embryo to become a human being?
Who or what grows our finger-nails and beats our heart
even as we sleep? Who or what is behind the movement
of the winds, which we feel but never see? What is this
force that keeps the planets in place and hurls our
world through the galaxy at a breathtaking speed? These
questions have been asked for as long as humans have
had the ability to contemplate their existence.
Spirit is what I have chosen to call the
formless, invisible energy which is the source and sustenance
of life on this planet. This force, no matter the name
we give it, can solve every problem that we encounter.
There is a spiritual solution to every problem, we only
need to learn how to access it. In this book I will
explain ways that I have found to access this force.
I will begin by explaining the three basic steps to
finding your spiritual solutions to problems.
I first read about these steps when I
immersed myself in How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms
of Patanjali, written sometime between the fourth century
B.C. and the fourth century A.D. These spiritual disciplines
and techniques were written to enable a person to achieve
the ultimate unitive knowledge of God. I will refer
to this powerful collection of writings frequently,
and share with you how this knowledge can be applied
in your life.
I trust you will discover for yourself
that these things you have come to label as problems
have a ready solution available to you right now, in
this moment, in that world we are calling spirit.
The First of Three Steps
for Accessing Spiritual Direction
Recognition: It may appear obvious
that one must first recognize something before applying
it, but this is actually the most troublesome step in
moving toward spiritual illumination.
Recognizing the availability of an invisible
force that can be put to use in solving a problem, requires
overcoming a great deal of our early training and conditioning.
Have you ever thought about the limitations we experience
when we identify ourselves as only a physical body in
For instance, do you believe there is
only one kind of power or knowledge, which relies on
your sensory or intellectual faculties to solve problems?
Most of us have been taught this is true and that all
of the information that has been acquired is the total
inventory of options available to us. This is a conditioned
attitude of nonrecognition of our divine connection
to spiritual problem solving.
In this state of nonrecognition we believe
that medicines, herbs, surgery, and doctors are responsible
for all healing, or that improving one's financial picture
involves the exclusive application of working hard,
studying, interviewing, and sending out résumés.
In essence, nonrecognition leads us to believe that
our knowledge is limited to those kinds of phenomena,
which are explainable through our sensory functions.
Patanjali described a kind of knowledge
or power that is not accessed solely through the material
or sensory world. Recognition that this power exists
and is always available is the first step in acti-vating
it. However, it is not accessed solely through the teachings
of others, or through ancient writings, just as we do
not dream because someone teaches or writes about dreaming.
Recognizing, like dreaming, is something we access by
making an inner and outer commitment to our ability
For example, in this first step when you
are faced with a problem, I suggest you create a personal
affirmation such as: "I may not know exactly how
to access the spiritual solution here, but I fully recognize
that a spiritual solution exists." By recognition
of its existence, we invite the power to be known by
As physical beings we can make a flower
grow in the sense of the response to the question in
the opening sentence of this book. But if we are thoughtful
we realize that we cannot even begin to unravel the
mystery of the invisible force that initiates life.
Yet it is in this omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent
spiritual world that we find the solutions to all our
problems. This spiritual force is everywhere and in
every thing and every one. When we incorporate the first
step, recognition, we begin the process of accessing
this all-knowing power.
The Second of Three
Steps for Accessing Spiritual Direction
Realization: We discover that knowledge
achieved by realization is of a much higher order than
This is not an exercise in intellectual
reasoning. In this step we go beyond recognition of
a spiritual presence into the phase of realization where
nothing but our own personal experience is trusted.
We become an explorer in virgin territory where no one
but ourselves can be. Here, only you can validate your
Our desire to realize the presence is
an integral part of the unexplainable dynamic that creates
life. When we actively meditate on a chosen spiritual
ideal or even a given personality we are expressing
our desire by inviting the presence to be accessible...