don't expect everyone to be on your level

Today we ask that you stop expecting people to be “on your level.”

In terms of spiritual evolution, people are not at the same level.  This is only natural.  Spiritual practice and awakening is like any other skill.  It requires constant effort and learning, over many years.  It is the practice of a lifetime.

It is like martial arts, or ballroom dancing.  You cannot expect a novice to have the same ability as a seasoned practitioner.  Some people may have innate ability, but lack perseverance.  Others may struggle with the simplest moves, but have great determination.  Of course, you may practice for years and years, and hit a roadblock in which it feels like all your ability and awareness flies out the window.  This is very common.  

The wisest man always acknowledges he is a beginner, even if he has practiced a skill for his whole lifetime.

Most people are very asleep when it comes to spiritual practice.  They may have heard of meditation, but have never tried it, or have tried it once or twice.  They do not know that it is even possible to cultivate inner peace and presence of mind.  They do not understand that it’s possible to shift one’s experience of life, by shifting one’s perception.  They do not know that perception is something that can be shifted.

Even if they have some spiritual practice, they may not have been tested.  They may go through a major personal crisis, or an intense ego temptation.  Suddenly, spiritual practice flies out the window.  It happens to everyone.  

The wise man does not expect anything from other people.  He knows that most adults are really like children, and are easily distracted from the spiritual path.  A shiny toy, a piece of candy — it’s so easy to blind and distract people.  

The wise man works always on himself.  He asks how he may become more peaceful and present in any situation.  That way, he is never at the mercy of others.  It is okay for childish people to act childishly.  

It is true that if you have no expectations, you will never be disappointed.  This makes life much more enjoyable.

If you cultivate your own calm, this can of course have an effect on the people around you.  They may become attuned to your calm frequency, as if you are a tuning fork.

But if you become tense and agitated because “people who should know better” are behaving badly and not listening to you, then you are not much of a tuning fork.

Don’t expect other people to be “on your level.”  That way, when you inevitably stumble and falter on your own path, you’ll be more forgiving with yourself.  Everyone messes up, and that’s okay.