I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself.
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
…..St. John of the Cross
the sham of the spirit lies in the denial of our humanity…..enlightenment is really about owning the reality of our daily existence….and transcendence is our capacity to bear the weight of each other’s hearts….may it be our calling to know what we do not know….
It is important to understand that the vast majority of us- regardless of what tradition we’re involved with and what practices we do- are unlikely to become enlightened and dis-identified with ego once and for all and then live happily ever after. Many modern Western traditions sell the promise of ‘enlightenment,’ but the product being sold is an imitation or of very low quality. Insight into ego is not hard to come by; many teachers can provide a direct experience of it. And it is stunningly powerful and beautiful to discover that we are not who we imagined we once were and that freedom from this identification is as simple as a shift in perspective. But to maintain such an experience is exceedingly rare. Moreover, such insight is but one stepping stone on an endless path to spiritual integration and maturity…….Mariana Caplan
Somewhere along the path we ran into a problem: reality. It gradually became apparent that many classic accounts of spiritual life are idealistic and unrealistic, not unlike the Hollywood sagas of boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, ride off into the sunset, and live happily ever after. Anyone who has ever been in an intimate relationship knows that something has been left out of that story. In short, spiritual practice turned out to be far more complex and demanding than it first seemed. True, there were many gifts and graces along the way, and the glimpses of our spiritual potentials were awe inspiring. But covering these potentials were layer upon layer of difficult emotions, demanding motives, compulsive conditioning, and countless old wounds, fears, and phobias. And ironically, spiritual practice often made these challenges more apparent and difficult to deny……Roger Walsh