Abiding with Knowledge does take practice.
On August 13, 2015, I completed Steps to Knowledge for the second time. Steps to Knowledge is a spiritual practice consisting of 365 Steps. Ideally, this suggests doing one step a day and completing the entire practice in one year. Fortunately, this is not a rigid requirement. I began on June 25, 2014, which means it took me one year, one month and nineteen days to complete the practice. If I compare this to the first time I did Steps (beginning on November 7, 2012 and finishing on June 24, 2014. i.e. one year, seven months and seventeen days), this is an upstat. However, Steps are very gracious in that they place the emphasis on persevering and keeping on, regardless of the time this takes. You keep taking the next Step, no matter how long it has taken you to do the previous one. The main thing is not to give up entirely.
I wrote in my journal after completing Steps the first time:
“It has taken me longer than a year to do Steps this first time, but I have kept on consistently without abandoning my practice, so I do feel that I have accomplished something and am dedicated to continuing the climb up the mountain.”
Abiding with Knowledge
What can I say this time?
I can certainly say again that I kept on consistently without abandoning my practice. But there were no fireworks, there was no trumpeting in triumph, there was not even a strong feeling of accomplishment and progress. I even thought to myself, “Perhaps I didn’t do it right?”
However, Knowledge is subtle and quiet. It works silently in the background, beneath the surface, unobtrusively and serendipitously. It takes a quiet mind to appreciate it.
And that is what I feel I have accomplished this time. I am learning to quiet my mind and appreciate the difference between this quiet state of mind, when the truth shines through, and the chaotic noisy state of mind that so often clamors for attention. I am learning to abide with Knowledge. But abiding with Knowledge takes practice.
This was brought specifically to my attention on the day I completed Steps for the second time. My attention was drawn to Step 226 – Knowledge is with me. I will not be afraid.
“New habits of thinking and behaving can be instilled and strengthened. It is merely the result of applying your mind. It is the result of practice.”
“Abide with Knowledge which will undo all the habits that have cast themselves against you and the world.”
Yes, abiding with Knowledge takes practice, but it can be achieved. I truly feel as I continue to practice Steps of Knowledge that I am learning to distinguish between the true things that come from Knowledge and the unsubstantial thoughts and ideas that bombard my surface mind. I am undoing all the habits that have cast themselves against me and the world, and I am instilling and strengthening new habits of thinking and behaving.
So I definitely recommend persevering with this practice. Take the Steps to Knowledge, take them with dedication and commitment. Persevere, keep going, carry on, and you are sure to reap the benefits. I, for one, can vouch that this is my experience.
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