Has to be man’s
Only true occupation.”

– Sri Chinmoy

When asked: “What do you do?”, or when required to list our occupation, we generally respond with our profession: “I am a bank manager”, “I’m a student”, “I peel potatoes”, “I’m unemployed”.

Yet to equate our occupation with a profession is entirely inadequate, and barely scratches the surface of our outermost being. Once we launch into meditation and the spiritual life, our all-consuming occupation becomes our ever-climbing aspiration and wholehearted dedication – to the search for inner and outer peace, for happiness, truth, self-conquest, life-transformation, integral perfection and God-satisfaction. This occupation does not switch on and off. It is a ceaseless quest, subsuming and transcending all our thoughts, emotions and activities; a quenchless cry, renewing and intensifying with each breath and heartbeat.

As a spiritual seeker, we must acknowledge to ourselves that while our profession plays an essential role in our outer life, it can never define us. It is our inner occupation – our devoted quest for peace, love, light and bliss – that defines us, informs and proclaims who and what we are, shapes what we shall become, achieve and offer to the world.

To a spiritual seeker, one’s outer profession is irrelevant. Infinitely better to sweep the streets with a pure mind and selfless heart, than to rule a nation amid fearful worries and torturing doubts.

At every moment, let our mantra be: “I am a truth-seeker and God-lover.”

The outer life flows ever from the inner life. Regardless of our profession, when our occupation is inner aspiration and outer dedication, then and only then shall our outer life blossom with meaning, value and fulfilment.

Next time we are asked, let us join with Sri Chinmoy in declaring:

“My inner occupation is silence. My outer occupation is surrender.”