Stay loyal to the path of truth even after the ‘honeymoon’ is over and the real challenges begin. The path opens up only to those who remain focused and are ready to step out of their comfort zone.

Once you humbly pass through the gateway of the maze, a whole new and exciting world opens up before your astonished eyes. You are filled with all these surprising sensations and emotions, new and unexpected insights arise, and you fall deeply in love with your teachers and the liberating fragrance of the truth. This is an intoxicating time, full of joy and bliss, and mostly it is a new level of vibration. It is like Alice entering Wonderland: nothing can be taken for granted and nothing is as it seems. I call this blissful time ‘the honeymoon,’ and like all good things, it comes to an inevitable end. The honeymoon phase can last a long or a short time, but it leads you to the next step of the journey – the lesson of perseverance and loyalty.

In this sense, one can regard the spiritual path as a romantic relationship. Like in all relationships, we love the falling-in-love, the sensation of butterflies in the stomach, being occupied with the presence of our lover. We want to be with them all the time, and we feel we cannot get enough. But then, we all know the transition point from this excitement and almost obsession-like state of mind to a more robust, steady and ‘routine-like’ phase. The relationship takes a more regular route, and often it ends because we become used to it or merely get bored.

So it is with the maze. After walking on the path for a while with a great sense of bliss and satisfaction, you become used to it. This ‘treadmill’ phenomenon of the brain getting used to all good things is a known scientific fact; after all, it is the very mechanism that drives us to want more, to seek newness and ever to desire. But this is where you encounter one of the most important lessons on the path – the ability to be loyal and stick to it, even if it seems tedious, and also if it suddenly appears gray and effortful.

This stage is unavoidable and is meant to test your will. If you are a genuine seeker of truth, if you are not looking for some cheap and short-term thrills intended to cause you only pleasure, you will recognize this part of the journey as an invaluable lesson in being highly focused and loyal to your love of truth. The path shapes and redesigns you, so only if you let it work on you, if you stay put and don’t leave the trail for some other new excitements your mind offers, can you successfully pass the lesson of perseverance and loyalty.

This lesson provides you with the valuable skill of overcoming the endless temptations and side-tracks on the path. Remember, in the maze, you can walk on a dirt road, the rain can fall on you, and there is no place to hide. Then you see the path splits into two possible trails, one is your muddy and wet path, and the other directs you away from the grayness onto a sunny and carefree road. You might think the sun is so attractive, that you cannot stand the repetition of the dull gray path. After all – they promised you everlasting happiness and this wet and tedious road does not feel like happiness to you.

But be careful! This is when the lesson of loyalty can be learned; this is exactly the moment of choice that can take you out of the maze or keep you in it. Love and loyalty can handle discomfort and pain, and when you exercise this love and choose loyalty over pleasure when you stick to your path no matter your experience, the maze rewards you with a new gateway, a new opening that takes you to the deeper layers; those that can only be accessed with the acquired skills of perseverance and loyalty.

One of my first significant challenges after my long period of ‘honeymoon’ was losing my passion and interest in the truth. Suddenly, I felt that everything was becoming repetitive, that my meditation was stuck and that I could not deepen anymore. I felt the sense of boredom and an inner yearning for new excitement. I saw other people around me having all these fantastic experiences, and for me, it was like the desert. My mind entertained itself with thoughts of a different future, one that seemed carefree and with no challenges. I remember a specific day when I thought I was wasting my time with this spirituality and that I was just not talented or intelligent enough for it. The feelings of wanting to withdraw were so strong that I even called my teacher and told him I was contemplating leaving his teachings and the spiritual path.

My teacher just told me I was a spoiled brat, that I was not serious enough and that I was missing the fact I was being tested for my true loyalty and devotion to the truth, no matter what my temporary experience. He firmly suggested that I should deeply inquire into my motivations for leaving and try to be honest with myself. His words burnt my ears and startled my heart. I knew I was hearing the truth and I knew that leaving would bring me only sadness and regret. So I persevered and expanded within myself to include such times of dissatisfaction and apparent stuckness, and was soon rewarded, understanding that even if on the surface things feel stuck, on the deeper energetic levels, my system was getting ready to assimilate more light and conduct more wisdom. When you persevere and stay very loyal to your path, it unfolds before your very eyes and reveals the deeper secrets of transformation.

So, if you feel like running away or just quitting the maze because it is too hard or just not exciting anymore, you can try this next practice:

This precious practice is called ‘negation and question,’ and I learned it from my teacher many years ago.

  1. Take a piece of paper and write down all the reasons you can find for quitting. Don’t be shy, instead allow yourself to bring forth all the thoughts and feelings you have right now. It doesn’t matter how irrational or even funny your reasons are, judge nothing that you write. Let yourself pour out all your private content, so once it is on the paper, you can read through it and carefully examine it.
  2. Try to write at least 10 points (or more) that justify your wish to move on to something else and abandon the path. It might be the case that you think: “I am not quitting the path, I am just not going to invest so much time and energy in it, and after all, there are other exciting and interesting things for me to do.” Put it down with all the other ideas you have on the piece of paper until you feel you have exhausted all possibilities.
  3. For the practice, agree to see all your answers as ‘not true.’ Get in touch with the feeling that you do not know what is going on and why you feel the way you do.
  4. From this inner position of not knowing, close your eyes and listen to your heart; ask yourself: what is hiding underneath your emotional turmoil, what do you want to ask God or life or the universe? You might find something else arising, something like “what am I afraid of?” or “what is it that I want?” This new honesty will help you get better clarity, and if you hold the question for some moments and answer it from a deeper state of listening, you will get in touch with a far more genuine and connected place inside.

If your love for the truth is real and if your inner fire to merge with it is authentic, this practice will lead you back to the maze, stronger than before and far more honest about your internal drives and motivations.