The technical level of self-mastery is about ability. Consistent progress requires ability and the inner strength and discipline to persistently use that ability. The world has been full of those who have rested on the laurels of their ability only to find that what was cultivated was a weak mind. In light of this all that ability becomes like a parlor trick. Strength is what carries ability from one step of development to the next. Having said this after the cultivation of some inner strength, ability and skill will make the journey to self-mastery more refined.
Ability and skill provides a structure for strength, discipline and focus to be channeled into. Rather than simply ritualizing practice it then has purpose – perhaps many levels of purpose. In all of this inner strength is never allowed to dissipate. This is one of the temptations that arise from the lazy and apathetic mind once it holds a little skill and ability. It believes that it can do some things and then the ego compares itself to others and says “Gee, I can do all this and other people can’t – well I’m so good I could do this with my eyes closed, hey I may as well relax.”
A dirty trick as usual – and it comes at a time when we are most vulnerable.
We must remain steadfast and true at these times especially. It is futile to compare ourselves with others. If our marker becomes dependent on the progress of another than we have already set a limitation for our progress. We need to keep our eyes on our purpose and destination. This is what is important.
One of the most powerful abilities is that of being able to maintain a solutions and results orientated focus. This cultivates a mind that acknowledge limitations, obstacles and mistakes, but then seeks to make good of them. It is a mind that becomes like water, hitting one obstacle, going around it and finding a way to its target. What really makes this mind state work however is persistent focus. Gaining knowledge and information in itself is not difficult. Maintaining the integration of this knowledge through mindfulness and action is what many people will find challenging – the magnetism of the old needs to be controlled in order to bring in the new. It is destruction at its finest. The failure to maintain new directions and structures is the number one reason that conscious transformation for many does not take place as they had hoped.
Being internally strong and persistent is the engine that drives us to our goals. Ability and skill is what navigates the path, finds new openings and spaces and allows that engine of strength and persistence to be elevated to an even higher level.