A friend and I have been reflecting on meditative and spiritual Path experiences that occurred ten years ago for us. For me, they continued through the whole year; I don’t know about her. As I have re-read the journal entries, it is the Path that comes into view over and over again, not through any particular experience or insight but, rather, through the reflections on the whole year, and my life of spiritual partnership shared with many people in a variety of ways. I’d like to share some of the distillations of these thoughts in the desire that they might assist you, your Path, and your journey of awakening overall.
We are blessed with various causes and conditions. Some support the prosperity of health and well-being, some provide the means for joy and creativity in one’s livelihood, some offer situations of service in which the server and the served benefit and grow. Causes and conditions are also the mechanism by which the spiritual Path is furthered. All of the above are Path; but then there are cases when a teacher or teaching, group field or collaborative, creative endeavor combine and come into our life. How fortunate we are! We can look out at the world and see how infrequent such refined circumstances are. These circumstances are merit on display.
In situations such as these, and for as long as they last during a lifetime, we are wise to participate in every way possible and to support the experience of everyone else involved.
Sometimes, like at a banquet, certain experiences will be challenging – like food that looks tasty but is not to one’s palette. The challenging experiences are probably the most important. That experience is especially to be investigated for what is it revealing, what is it offering, what in me is being tilled so as to be transformed? What projections are happening? What expectations are involved?
As we acknowledge how rare and fortunate these events and circumstances actually are, then the riches being offered will want to be taken in fully. In truth, the blessings of all the teachers and teachings of lifetimes are in these confluences of opportunity. If we notice the gift being given through group, or teaching, or teacher, or situation, then we are honoring that which was seeded in us by past mentors, that which they lived and manifested for. In this, the true lineage of ongoing maturation is being upheld and furthered along.
Peaks and troughs
When we were infants, we learned to walk. Then, we were toddlers integrating balance, speed, and running just because we could. When we were in grade school, we learned to read. Every day since then we have been integrating what we read, why we read what we do, how to apply what we read or expose ourselves to, and how to chose food for thought that nourishes the whole being.
We all have had peak experiences: professionally, in relationships, one’s that involved athletic skill or endurance, and one’s that were “spiritual” or meditative. If a mountain hike was done, even more than once, we probably would not consider ourselves an expert hiker; but for some reason, meditative experiences often are taken at face value in their peakness and not examined. More important, in order for the real gift to be received from the experience, it must be integrated. I have made this error, and did so for all to see. I’m grateful for how many times my foot has ended up in my mouth, or how the sense of self has usurped simplicity and purity. I am grateful because these situations gave me more than the peak experience did. So, in combination, wow!
Integration can seem like a trough on the Path. It’s not, of course. Integration IS the Path far more than the high points or particular insights or expansions. Those are only sugar if their suchness is not integrated. By the same token, integration is a vibrant process; and if one is wise one engages integration for all that it offers. One contemplates, reflects, questions, observes oneself, evaluates, and opens one’s self to the integrative process fully.
Truth is, integration is recapitulation and recapitulation is integration all over again. This is so on a moment by moment basis, a cycle of events basis, as well as the recapitulations that occur each lifetime. The beauty of the “system” is that we keep recapitulating thus keep integrating that which has already been developed or is developing, that which is awakened so as to awaken more, and that which has been used in service so as to perfect all methods of compassion and wisdom.
I came in fairly aware. I started to recapitulate meditative training as a young child. Angelic beings (I might call them dakinis now) kept me plugged in to Path while still living a “regular” life and while my inner life had no external support growing up. When I started to remember past lives, they were always ones of training. When full recapitulations of Raja Yoga or the Lakota wisdom and shamanic Path, or yogi training, or Dharma and its training downloaded, they were immediately exteriorized and applied. This integrated them but also turned their spiral through integration. And, since meditation has been part of this life since childhood, and part of every life I can remember for a long, long time, it is like breathing in this life. Other features of Path have been consciously recapitulated and integrated as well; each so as to be freshly lived. But the point is that this is so for everyone. What makes me be able to write this paragraph is merely the training I have received, which included the importance of integration, which brings all experiences to the foreground, thus freshly integrated. But, anyone can train themselves in this – and maybe you are.
Applying one’s self to conscious integration through one’s day is how conscious recapitulation will be possible. It’s a type of trained observer training.
Because of all that’s been said, it seems obvious that Path is a constant unfolding. Unfolding of what? The answer to that lies within each person.
Path is a relative truth. From the point of view of monad/buddha nature/ triad/bodhi, it is an illusion like a dream. But, from the experience of the person still dancing in duality, Path is how the nondual and dual embrace and merge and coexist. And, the more they dance and coexist in the consciousness of the person, the more pure Being can know itself through its reflection (again dual and nondual in union).
Friends, please use every moment as integration, as Path, as the recapitulation of causes and conditions from the past that each moment is. Recognize the blessings of the guru/the teacher in the events and circumstances of life: the teachers of your past and of your present. There is no glamour in this if the recognition is of the flow of merit, the current of the river of kindness and generosity which you now pass onward, and as the precipitation of compassion-wisdom that is the heritage of all beings. The more we recognize this heritage, these blessings for what they are, and this current, the more its flow can flow and increase. Create those causes by recognizing, noticing, and gratitude.
light and love,