Transcendence

At first glance, transcendence might look like the ultimate culmination of all the other nine practices—the prize you receive after checking off all the others in chronological order. 

But transcendence isn’t an outcome, it is a means. Our ability to connect with the Divine is innately within each of us, has always been within us, and, is what allows us to master the other practices. It quietly supports us, and guides us to greater perspective and understanding. It is the ground upon which all the other principles stand.

No matter your religious tradition or lack thereof, all spiritual paths agree on this central premise: there is something far, far bigger than our individual selves. Our common ancestors designed languages, developed ceremonies, and built their experience of life around these beliefs. What they’ve left is inspiring, albeit, imperfect language to help us understand this world that we live and breath in.

Transcendence goes far beyond analysis. In our post-enlightenment world we tend to emphasize truth in forms that are easily judged, measured and clarified, as if the world was one giant science experiment and we just need to spend enough time with the data. But deeper meaning resides outside this world of measurement. The world of transcendence is the world in which the great poets, musicians, authors and spiritual leaders reside. It’s the world of the visionary, the healer and the mystic. And when you call to mind the people in your life who have set the greatest example of what it means to be human, they likely spent much of their time in the world of transcendence.

In a world that praises and rewards grandiose individualism, touching the transcendent can be an excruciatingly humbling experience. Yet, it is ultimate source of meaning, viewing life from its biggest and deepest endpoint. It’s only through engaging the transcendent, our Higher Power—God, where we find love, ourselves, our purpose, and therefore, our freedom.

WAYS TO INCORPORATE THIS PRACTICE

THEMES 

Love • Nature • Tradition and Ancestry

HABITS 

Maintain an awareness of the big picture. Everytime you’re faced with a decision, think about how you would feel about it at the end of your life looking back.

Each day for a month write down one word you would use to describe God. At the end of the month prioritize the words based upon what resonates most deeply for you. Mark next to the words T for what you know to be true, E for what you need to explore, and B for what you think may just be baggage.

Consider your family’s traditions and your spiritual upbringing. Find a daily or weekly tradition that you left behind and try practicing it for a month. Explore the roots of this practice and try to enter more deeply into its intention. 

“Transcendence isn’t an outcome, it is a means.”

@monkmanual | #monkmanual


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