Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > spiritual path as evolving through time

 
 

The path moves on... we move on

turn turn turn

Jul 4, 2019

Saying For Today: The way is never idle, the way is always moving, always changing, moment-to-moment; even what we refer to as a moment is the path becoming the path.


the way hidden

*Brian Wilcox. 'the way hidden'. Flickr

For most of my earlier life, I could have been called a pessimistic person. Then, I learned, by studying Buddhism, of the nature of Reality being one of open-dimensionality. Life is innately open, for it is always in movement with all else. Sure, this means I could die in the next moment. Yet, until I do, this truth led me, along with other causes and conditions, to become one expectant positively of blessings, for I know a blessing can be burped up, so to speak, from the Universe at any moment. And I came to see that surrendering to this way of Life is what I often earlier referred to as surrender to the will of God. So, knowing this all-potential open-dimensionality, how can I be a pessimist? And, really, I am not an optimist: I am in love with Life. Life keeps moving, and I move as Life. This means change, and good change, even if sometimes challenging change. Moving with Life, I know all is Well, even when I do not feel all is well. Even this feeling is passing, as the Psalmist sang, "Tears may last through a night, but joy arises in the morning."

* * *

while we seek to live in
what has been popularly called 'the Now'
we cannot subtract a now from that Now
meaning, as long as we are in the dimension of time
we will be in-change, and change-will be in us

as T.S. Elliot wrote,
"We live at the intersection of time and eternity"

while eternity is still
within it time
remains 'turn, turn, turn'

*Brian K. Wilcox. "Turn,Turn, Turn." Nov. 3.2018.

A friend of the sage visited the sage, inquiring about his practice of letting go. He had been taught, many years prior, that in meditation he was to let go of whatever arose in thought or feeling. He, uncomfortable with this now, a practice which used to feel right to him, inquired of the sage as to what might be the problem.

The sage said, "Possibly, the problem is letting go. Maybe, now is the time for you to let go of letting go."

*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."

* * *

I once was surprised when a Buddhist teacher seemed to contradict the Buddhist teaching that attachment is the cause of suffering and we need to practice non-attachment. This teacher said there is a time for those who have learned non-attachment to consider learning attachment. Likely, many spiritual practitioners seek the spiritual path running from attachment and, later, need to learn it, or learn healthy attachment. So, one could claim not all attachment is the cause of suffering, while non-attachment can, as well, be a cause of suffering. Of course, confusion can be added to all this, for we may each have different understandings of what attachment is and is not.

* * *

We get taught certain practices and teachings, and we may fail to distinguish between relative teachings and absolute teachings. We, also, can fail to see that teachings, with their practices, applicable to persons change based on the spiritual development of the devotee. Buddhism, possibly better than any wisdom path, speaks of this, even acknowledging the Buddha appears to contradict himself in his sermons, but only for he fit his words to the development of his listeners.

So, the path, which I have defined before as the whole context of life for a devotee, including himself or herself, will guide us when we no longer need a particular way of practice or teaching. This path is Wisdom. So, see, the path is not an object, the path is you, you are part of the total subject of the whole context of life. So, these words from the late Dainin Katagiri, a Zen Buddhist teacher, in his The Light that Shines through Eternity.

Dharma [Buddha's teaching, truth, wisdom] as real truth is the functioning of the Buddha way—the original energy of life constantly flows and unfolds as all the forms of everyday life. It means the form of your own life is identical with that original energy. In other words, truth is not in us, truth is not on us, truth is not with us—truth is us. Truth is you. Truth is your real self. Depending on that self is depending on the dharma.

So, the path is total intimacy, and alive, so what once worked no longer works, this is one aspect of discernment of what the path is revealing to us. If, as part of a path, we have a teacher or spiritual companion, one role of this person is to assist us in listening to what the path is saying to us, encouraging us to follow Wisdom and how it may even contradict what once was rightly given us to do.

* * *

Now, as to letting go, for example. Letting go needs to be let go of, for many. I liken this to sitting by a river. I have said before that being in silence, prayerfully, is like sitting by a river. In that river is debris ~ our thoughts, feelings. When we are drawn from the quietness to some object of debris, we let it go, we return to simply observing, or being wakeful of, the river. Yet, too, there arises a time when we no longer need to let go of the debris. One reason, we no longer are drawn to grab onto the debris. Yet, the debris is present, we are conscious of it, for wakeful, but we are steadfast in awareness. So, I once followed a teacher of Centering Prayer who spoke of this, and he taught not to let go. Here, awareness is no longer getting stuck to the debris, simply observing it. Hence, at this time, one acts wisely in not letting go.

Yet, another matter that can lead us to let go of letting go is, as taught in some teachings, such as Dzogchen and Mahamudra in Buddhism, we come to see, using the language of Jewish faith, that all things are imbued with the Glory. Theists could say all created particulars are expressions, so incarnations, of the universal Creator. Nontheists would use other language for this same truth. So, here, with steadfast awareness is the attention to and appreciation of what arises in mind or body, whether the object is internal or external to oneself, as of the Wisdom of Enlightenment, or sacraments of the Light.

* * *

In my own experience, over the last many months, I have bought some books I read years ago. These books do not appeal to me now as they once did. I have rarely finished one of them. I am learning, stop rebuying the books. The path has moved on, so I have moved on. The way is never idle, the way is always moving, always changing, moment-to-moment; even what we refer to as a moment is the path becoming the path. We are each and with all turn and turn and turn.

colorful intimations of cold winter's coming

*Brian Wilcox. 'colorful intimations of cold winter's coming'. Flickr

*(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019

 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > spiritual path as evolving through time

©Brian Wilcox 2019