“…whether you know it or not.”*
Imagine you are driving your car from New York to San Francisco and your car breaks down in Chicago. You don’t ship your car back to New York, repair it and begin the journey again. Of course not. You fix the car in Chicago and keep heading west.
I have found solace in this simplistic and uncomplicated frame about spiritual practice. What if there is no “off the path”? What if there really are no errors? I’ve certainly come along way, in the bigger picture, of dismantling my perfectionism in relationship to my practices. Yet last week’s bout with the Flu from Hell reminded me that, at the drop of a hat, I readily abandon myself and then make myself wrong for it, which is not, FYI, a helpful or effective life strategy.
Norman Fisher, Zen master from the West Coast, writes inspiringly on this subject, describing the infusing of concept of practice with a sense of ongoing momentum that no lapse or relapse can interrupt. Here are some of his thoughts:
“In spiritual practice, there are no breaks and no mistakes. You may think that you have lost the thread of your practice, you may feel bad about it…..but this is not what you think. Once you begin practice, you always keep going, because everything is practice, even the days or weeks or lifetimes that we forget to meditate. It’s impossible to be lost. You are constantly being found, whether you know it or not.”
The kindness in this reframe brings tears to my eyes today. We are constantly being found, especially when we don’t know it. Here are some considerations I offer your hearts today, for your pondering or journaling pleasure:
- What does it mean to you “to be (constantly) found”?
- If that might be true, what would be freed up inside of you?
- What is one thing you can do this week, to practice repairing your car where it is, and moving easefully and lovingly forward?
Rumi, the ecstatic Persian poet of the 13th century, offers us this powerful and similar reminder. Let’s use these words of Rumi as a blessing to take into this new week.
“…..ours is not
a caravan of despair.
Whether you’ve broken your vows
a hundred times,
the door is round and open.”
And now, dear friends, we practice. May your week be filled with the ease and grace. May we be there to participate.
All blessings, Aruni
Lion’s Roar Magazine