“One drop of pleasure-poison
Is enough to destroy
The beauty and purity
Of my aspiration-heart.”

– Sri Chinmoy

One choir member out of tune can ruin an entire performance; one droplet of blood summonses frenzied sharks from afar; one momentary lapse yields a car crash; one stray thought shatters a lofty meditation; one bad choice can terminate one’s spiritual progress.

An oak tree at once carries dead branches of its past, along with acorns of its promising future. Just as humans have evolved from animals, and still embody many limiting and destructive animal propensities – fear, anger, aggression – as ‘memories’ of our animal past, so also we house all the expansive, liberating spiritual qualities – peace, love, light and bliss – as ‘previews’ of our future divine being.

The spiritual life is a very long journey, an evolution from one type of consciousness, from one state of being to another, from the human to the divine. Our spiritual transformation does not occur overnight, as through meditation we gradually transcend the binding, inhibiting limitations of our finite human nature – our body, vital and mind – by nurturing, absorbing, claiming and growing into our infinite within – our divine heart and soul.

As our liberating heart expands in love, peace and oneness, so our mind’s fixed boundaries of certainty, superiority and pride wither and fade, our consciousness awakens from finite to infinite, our identity graduates from confined ego to universal heart.

In this process, what appears desirable or pleasurable to the limiting mind and demanding vital – thoughts and feelings of possession, division, suspicion or dominion – halt and reverse the unfolding of the divine.

Beware: just one miscreant thought or unchecked desire can turn the tide of spiritual progress. The deluding, ravenous ego blocks the doorway of the heart: the promise of spiritual fulfilment vanishes.