Jack Kornfield: 10 signs of spiritual maturity

Ripe fruit falls from the tree: signs of spiritual maturity When one reaches maturity in the spiritual life, he is more comfortable with paradox, more correctly understands the uncertainty of life, its many layers and deep conflicts. In the fullness of his heart develops a sense of life's irony, metaphor and humor, the ability to cover the whole with its beauty and offensiveness".

A ripe fruit falls naturally from the tree.

After an appropriate period of spiritual life the heart, like the fruit begins to Mature and acquire sweetness.

Our practice goes from rough green shoots of searching, developing and improving ourselves – a peaceful stay secret. She is moving from reliance on form to stay in the heart.

To reach spiritual maturity means to become free from the stationary and idealistic ways of being and open to your life of flexibility and joy. With the development of spiritual maturity heart becomes kindness. The ease and compassion become our natural movement.

TaoistLao Tzu praised the spirit when he wrote:

"Woman, centered in Tao, can safely go wherever you want. She perceives the universal harmony, even amid great pain, because we've found peace in your heart."


The fulfillment of the rituals with robes and philosophy of spiritual traditions, people tried to escape from their everyday life and become more spiritual beings.

Spirituality is not about to leave my life and find existence on a higher level, filled with light. We found that transformation of consciousness requires much more practice and discipline than we first thought. We began to see that the spiritual path requires us to be more than what, apparently, offers. People have begun to awaken from the romantic visions of practice and understand that spirituality requires an honest and bold opinion, insight into the depth of the situations of our real life, in the depth of family situations, from which we come, requires a look at the place that we occupy in the society around us. Individually and in communities, through increasing wisdom and experience of being liberated from illusion, we begin to discard the idealistic understanding of spiritual life and spiritual community as a means to withdraw from the world or to save himself.

For many of us, this transition became the basis for a more deeply integrated and more intelligent spiritual work, which includes right relationship, right livelihood, right speech, and ethical dimensions of spiritual life. This work demanded the end of the categorization, understanding the fact that all that we are trying to push into the shadows or whatever you want to avoid, should ultimately include in their spiritual life, and nothing to leave behind. Spirituality has become more a question of who we are than about what ideal to follow. Spirituality changed our direction, instead to go to India, to Tibet, or Machu Picchu, we come home.

Spirituality of this kind, full of joy and integrity — and it is ordinary, and awakened. This spirituality enables us to abide in the miracle of life. Such a Mature spirituality allows you to Shine through us the light of the divine. Let's take a look at the quality of spiritual maturity.

1. The absence of idealism

Mature heart does not seek for perfection — it is in the compassion of our being instead of dwell in the ideals of the mind. Spirituality, devoid of idealism, does not seek to perfect the world, not seeking to improve myself, my body, my personality. She's not a romantic, dreams about teachers or about enlightenment, based on the images of great purity of some otherworldly being. Thus, it is not seeking any purchase or special achievements in the spiritual life – it seeks only to love and be free.
Disappointment in the quest for perfection is illustrated by a story about Mullah Nasreddin:

"One day he met in the market with his old friend that was to marry. A friend asked the Mullah whether he thought it ever about marriage. Nasrudin replied that years ago he was going to marry and began to look for the perfect woman. First he went to Damascus, where he found the woman, who had perfect grace and beauty; but she found flaws in the spiritual realm. Then the journey led him even further to Isfahan, where he met a woman of deep spirituality, but quite adapted to this world and beautiful; but, unfortunately, they have not found common language with each other. "Finally I found it in Cairo,' he continued. – It was the ideal woman, spiritual, gracious and beautiful; it is easily felt in this world, she was perfect in every way". "So what? – asked the other. – You married her?" "No, answered the Mullah. – Unfortunately, she was looking for the perfect man".

Mature spirituality is not based on seeking perfection, on achieving some imaginary sense of purity. It is based just on the ability to be free and to love, to open my heart to all that is. Without ideals, the heart is able to turn common suffering and imperfections in the way of compassion. In this free from idealism to practice the divine can Shine even in acts of ignorance and fear, encouraging us to wonder at everything, and his secret.In this there is no condemnation, no censure, because we do not seek to improve the world, and trying to improve their love to what is on this earth.

Thomas Merton saw this:

"Then it happened as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of which are not able to reach neither sin nor desire; it is personality, what is each person in the eyes of God. If only they could see themselves for what they really are, if we only see this way to each other, there would be no reason for war, for hatred, for cruelty... I believe that there would be a big problem: we would have fallen on his knees, worshiping each other".

2. The second quality of Mature spirituality is kindness.

It is based on the fundamental notion of recognition itself, and not on the concepts of guilt, blame or shame for the actions of ignorance that we have committed or the fears that still remain within us. We understand that the opening requires the warm sun of loving-kindness. Very easy to turn spirituality and religion into what Alan watts called "bad debt". The poet Mary Oliver wrote:

"... You don't have to be good.
It is not necessary to repent and crawl on my knees
A hundred miles through the desert –
You just have to let the soft animal of my body
Love what it loves..."

In deep recognition grows compassionate understanding. As one Zen master, when asked if he gets angry someday: "of Course, I'm mad; but then a few minutes later I say to myself: "What's the use!" and release the anger". This recognition is, at least half of our spiritual practice.We are required to we with charity touched many parts of themselves that were previously denied, cut off or isolated. Mature spirituality is a reflection of our deep gratitude and capacity for forgiveness. According to the Zen poet Edward espe brown in the "Book the cook Masaharu":

"At any time when we are preparing this food,

We can turn into gas

And cock in the air at thirty thousand feet,
To drop poisonous dew
The leaves on the branches on the fur.
And everything we see will disappear.

And still we prepare food
Put on the table a thousand dreams,
To nourish and soothe
Near and dear to our hearts.
In this step, cooking
I bid you farewell.
I always insisted
That you deserve only censure.
But in this last moment my eyes opened,
And I look at you
With all the tenderness and forgiveness,
That so long kept in itself,
Look no future.
We have nothing
For that you need to fight..."


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