What the truly spiritual adept preserves and cares for is their inwardness. This inwardness is always aimed towards the transcendent and for that reason the adept withdraws his interest from the secular world. Only from inwardness does the spiritual path begin. As seems apparent, caring for inwardness is not a worldly practice. This kind of care seems almost repugnant to secular consciousness. In fact, not to care for inwardness marks the disposition of the secular or worldly person (prithagjana).
Devotion to the secular world comes by way of the naive will. One believes in the importance of external action over inwardness. To some degree such action manifests itself in Buddhism in its external forms. Becoming a monk or a nun, including the life of a monk or a nun, are examples where the naive will is seen at work. Wearing the robe; monastic conduct as well as ritual, are certainly outside of inwardness and what the true adept must really care for. Much of this, ii can be argued, is done to satisfy secular perceptions of religion and what religionists are supposed to do. Buddhist monks and nuns are not without secular drives, either. And few, if any, are fully devoted to a life of caring for inwardness.
A notable example of a life given to caring for one’s inwardness can be seen in Edward A. Burger’s documentary film, Amongst White Clouds. In the film, the hermit monks, including a nun, are not Buddhas—maybe not even real Bodhisattvas who have attained Bodhicitta. But all, without exception, are caring for inwardness in everything that they do. It is their daily practice.
Seated meditation in a Dharma center helps to preserve a trace of inwardness, but by no measure is just sitting in a Dharma center going to put one into a life of inwardness which is daily consecrated. At best seated meditation is the foremost ritual of caring for inwardness.