Question: What is the purpose of life? Is it spiritual practice?
Answer: Yes! The purpose of life is spiritual practice. That is why we are here. But the truth is, it takes a long time for us to discover that purpose. Like rats in a maze, we have to get a lot of electric shocks before we find the right path.
Let us say that one day you wander into the middle of a strange game. You do not know the rules or the objectives. You have no trustworthy instruction manual. The other players pursue their own goals—career, money, family, fame—but seem as confused as you are. They are ready to lecture you about the game, but their understandings are superficial. This is how life is. You get what your culture says and you get what your parents say. Then you acquire other kinds of information. But how much of that is trustworthy? You see that the answers you have been operating from are not the ultimate answers. You have to go deeper. If you are fortunate, you start to ask questions that begin to awaken you. You become aware of a spiritual path. You also discover a certain pain in awakening: your family and friends are not necessarily awakening with you. Nonetheless, that awakening is a great blessing because you start to move along the path towards inner harmony, towards inner peace and towards understanding what your life is about. And, once you begin to awaken, there is no turning back. I have seen people of the ignorance-is-bliss school try to put themselves back to sleep, but it is only temporarily effective.