Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Sleeping Man

Dear xxx,

You ask me for assistance in guiding you to some 'practices' that might be helpful to you in your desire for a more complete spiritual life. It is always difficult to answer such a request at the beginning of spiritual companioning.

Wisdom men and women who are wiser than me in this area suggest that the first place to begin is to 'wake up'. Not from that rest which we all need; we all need a good nap now and then. But to wake up to what is happening around you in the splendor of the present moment.

As you walk down this busy street of your life, what do you notice out of all that is presented to you from your senses before your analytic mind comments on it? What is actually happening in this moment that is beyond the reach of your senses? Are you aware that that tree has struggled to live outside of the field? That the wood in that fence was sacrificed from a living entity in some faraway wood? That the passerby has a story to tell about how they feel right now in this moment?

So the first step, beyond the desire itself to enter into a new consciousness, is to notice what is occurring all around you right now. Allow yourself to sense the world around you from perspectives other than your own, to allow for other possibilities and other frames of reference. Mine the richness of that moment.

Start there, in the moments of everyday existence, and awaken to what is happening. Then as you reflect on your day (an important part of the practice), recollect those experiences, and notice, if you can, what seemed unusual to you. This takes practice, but is an essential first step towards moving into a deeper spiritual life.

I look forward to your next letter.