“The moment I say and feel
That I am an eternal beginner,
I become the possessor
Of boundless joy.”
– Sri Chinmoy
In our meditation and spiritual life, we need always to feel we are just a beginner.
For no matter how much we know, there is always infinitely more that we do not yet know: no matter how much we have experienced or attained, there is always infinitely more we are yet to experience and to attain.
In the spiritual life, we can only move in two possible directions: forwards or backwards. There is no standing still. We can move forwards only when our mind and heart are open and eager to learn and to progress, for our journey is from the known to the unknown, from the finite to the infinite, from what we are to what we are yet to become.
When we close the curtains of our room, we shut out the light. When we feel we know enough or have attained a sufficient height, our mind and heart tend to contract and turn inward. As they close, so we shut out the possibility of further progress. As soon as we stop moving forwards, we start to slide – at first imperceptibly – backwards.
The spiritual universe is ever evolving. In the spiritual life, we can never rest on our laurels: my yesterday’s achievement will count for nothing if I am not seeking to build upon it and transcend, today and tomorrow.
So the attitude of an eternal beginner is essential not only to ensure our further progress, it is also our necessary safeguard against sliding backwards and veering from our chosen Path.
To remain always a beginner, breathe in humility, simplicity, sincerity, cheerfulness, enthusiasm and gratitude, and focus ever forward, inward, onward and upward.