At the same time, I think it is important to realize that it is not so much a process of gain as it is one of realization. We already are immortal, we just typically don't realize it because of all the levels of ego. The practice is a process of peeling away the ego, much like the layers of an onion. At the core is The Self (Dharmakaya; Tao; Christ Consciousness; Buddha Mind; Brahman; I Am): pure, healthy, enlightened, aware, and awake. Until we make that connection, we dance.
From Wayne Liquorman, of The Advaita Fellowship:
"Life is a dance. We are dancing...we are being danced...we twirl and spin and leap and exalt in the sheer joy of this dance. There are no wallflowers here. It is all dance floor. It matters not if we have a partner dancing opposite us. We are joined in the dance by all the other dancers. We are all in this ballroom together, bound by the music and compelled to move to its rhythm.
No it is not always graceful. We bump into each other, trip over feet...others and our own. Sometimes we fall.
Funny thing about this dance of ours...the harder we try the more clumsy we become. Our grace is in the letting go. When we surrender to the music it is free to move through us unrestricted. Our bodies and minds sway freely, smooth and effortless. It is ecstasy, in its purest, simplest and most mundane form.
We are blessed indeed to hear the divine choruses, even though
those who hear not the music, think we dancers are mad!"
Peace and many blessings in the coming year.