Today we have become a people who want to be entertained by others. We have become fans, watchers, observers. We want others to give us advice and help. We want to be given happiness. We live with our begging bowls outstretched. We expect our partner to make us happy. We expect our things to give us satisfaction. We expect the place we live and the vacation we go on to provide contentment. We expect the Guru to give us enlightenment. And when we experience pain we direct our anger toward them because we determine they failed to deliver. In these circumstances, we become entertained, distracted and momentarily pleased (or displeased), but we do not really become still, joyful and realized.
It is self-effort, firm resolve and firm conviction that motivate us to do our spiritual practices and that allows us to have the inner experience. It is the inner experience that brings conviction and resolve. It is a virtuous circle; resolve brings the experience. Experience brings resolve. Walking the spiritual path and doing the spiritual practices pave the way for us to become realized. Do the practices and we will have the inner experience. Have the inner experience and we will gain the resolve to do the practices. When we seek everything from others, we forgo the true inner experience and conviction, and the virtuous circle is broken.
The teachings remain steady; God dwells within us as us. Be still and know God. Seek heaven and all things will be added to us. Heaven lies within. This is the inner experience and it is realized through self-effort, grace and firm conviction. Only when we have the inner experience can we have the resolve to practice and only when we practice do we have the experience. It becomes our responsibility, our effort, our determination, our priority. Then, instead of holding out our begging bowls, we can offer grace, peace and love to this world.