In finding yourself on a spiritual path…
The question becomes: What is the best route to take?
Many people take a long hard path, since it breaks you down from the outside. Yes this is a painful path, since it involves getting beaten down by others. However, it’s easier for many people, since the world is doing all the work to break you down. So it ends up being the longer path in resisting the change and beatings. For many people it’s the path they take, because they don’t know any better way. This is the path of crisis.
Very very few people take the shortest path. However, this is a very hard path, as you voluntarily do most of the work of letting go and breaking out of your own expectation traps. It’s full of dead ends and exploration into the unknown. This is the path of transformation.
This means people look to spiritual teachers, religions or established systems as a path in life. This works since hopefully you find a guide to short cut you around known problems. This option can end up either as a path of crisis or transformation depending on who you find to help you and how well the system they teach matches to you.
The trouble is: what if the guide is taking you to a place, you don’t want to go? Many people avoid this path since they distrust many spiritual practices as being false.
There is another problem with finding a guide in life. The trick is realizing you still have to work, even with the guidance, otherwise your life’s path just reverts back to the longer path with no personal involvement of direct action. That’s the deeper pattern we have to break out of.
This comes around back to heart. Be true to your heart in this process to help guide you towards personal truth. Your heart is a guide and outside resource, already built within you, to help direct you towards completion of spirit.
Learning that, trust of heart, is always part of any spiritual practice. The path of the heart does take time to master. All Taoist teachers use the heart-mind to reflect upon as the true guide in spiritual life. Humans have used many terms and fancy symbols to represent this truth, from many angles. However, in short hand: discover trusting your own heart as part of the guidance for your life.
If you know this up front, it can make the journey more enjoyable along the way.