The underlying principle of Spiritual Practice is the belief that all people can attain spiritual liberation, spiritual enlightenment in their lifetimes. You do not have to wait for your physical death to experience the bliss of the “kingdom of heaven.” You can experience it while you are still in your body.
All embodied souls will eventually attain spiritual liberation. It’s just a matter of time. The accumulated attachments will slowly be overcome and liberation will occur. That is the natural process of spiritual evolution. It cannot be stopped. But, you can add attachments instead of burning them up and thereby impede your natural evolution.
The moment you are committing yourself to a particular spiritual path, you will notice a definite speed-up and intensification of your experiences in life. One teacher said this is like “putting your head in the tiger’s mouth.” “Who am I?” That is the question we all have to find an answer to at some point in life. This quest for an identity underlies all of our activities, although we may not be aware of it.
But, when we get this shiny new car or that new promotion or that tacky green sweater, we form emotional attachments and get involved in the game of the opposites, the field of the "have" and "have not's." When we see a tempting doughnut and just have to have it, we are creating an attachment to it. When we smell a cigarette and just want to “kill” the person smoking it, then we have created an attachment.
Over time we have created so many attachments that it is difficult for us to image a life without them. We have become stuck in the outer things of this world. The image we have of “us” is someone who cannot exist without these things. Who would we be if we were to lose these identifications, these attachments? Who would you be if you could not afford the payments and had to give back that new car? Who would you be if you never again ate another doughnut? Who would you be if you allowed your being to be subjected to that whiff of second-hand smoke? Who would you be if your relationship with your spouse would come to an end?
All day long we are stuck in this spider web of attachments and cannot see beyond our confinements. We must get free from these identifications and find our freedom in spiritual liberation. That is where Spiritual Practice comes in. We must make a commitment to get free. We must clearly state: “I want to be free.” Life itself will find ways for you to become free. There is no need for you to worry about that. All you need to do is follow the path when it opens up in front of you.