“…whether you know it or not.”*
From February 19, 2017
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 framework for spiritual practice. What if there is no “off the path”? What if there really are no errors? I’ve certainly come a long way dismantling my perfectionism in relationship to my spiritual journey. Yet I am still ready, at the drop of a hat, to abandon myself and then make myself wrong. I should be doing this better, is not an effective mantra, nor is it a helpful or effective life strategy.
Norman Fisher, Zen master from the West Coast, writes inspiringly on this subject, describing the 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 points for contemplation 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, similarly offers us this powerful reminder. Let’s take these words of Rumi as a blessing, a beacon to light our way 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 in the journey of our lives, one moment at a time, as best we can. And please, keep me posted. Let me know how your perfectionism does or does not influence your world. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lion’s Roar Magazine