"The spiritual journey is a process of embodying — acting from, sharing from, living from — what we know in our own direct experience. It is not a question of posturing our insights, trying to prop them up and sustain them, or trying to recreate the causes and conditions that allowed their revelation. The spiritual path is a path of actualizing our realizations. It is in actualization that our insights are integrated and sustained. As ninth-century Christian mystic Teresa of Avila noted, 'The demand of the spiritual favors granted us is that they be embodied.'

"It is common for practitioners to imagine a separation between their 'spiritual' life — as we may have come to think of spiritual reading or retreat or formal practice — and all that we typically think of as our 'ordinary' life (perhaps even holding that ordinary life as our 'real' life). When my children were little, for example, I would often try to bask in the quiet of meditation behind my closed door and then come out and yell at the poor kids for making noise while I was meditating. It took years for me to realize the folly of attempting to keep a closed door between what I perceived to be my two separate lives.

"As our practice matures, that imagined distance between our spiritual life and the rest of our life diminishes and awakening embraces our daily presence in relationships, traffic, the office, and an unpredictable body.

"It is wise to name our entire life, including all its messy circumstances, as 'spiritual practice.' Other than in our own misconceptions, our mistaken beliefs, there is no moment outside of our spiritual path. There is no arising separate from Being."