And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
from A New Path To The Waterfall
To remember our path is a spiral, not a maze.
The labyrinth is not a maze. It's more of a spiral. A journey with no false passages. No blind alleys.
Walking in a maze we could be lost. Walking a spiral path requires only the knowledge that it is a path and not a maze. The road may curve. Directions may change. Sometimes we'll be walking the opposite direction for a while.
Did we think a journey of any real value would be linear?
Do we want to experience a story in which the end is known from the beginning? A highway so straight we don't even need to travel it?
Even the longest of straight stretches of highway has the blessing of the horizon to give it mystery.
So I keep a spiral pendant with me. I think about this path. The path I walk alone. The path I share with my wife and my children. With my staff and with my friends. With my world and those who are helping to love me into awakening.
It reminds me that this is not a maze.
Along the path are great and gentle Dharma teachers, some known to the world at large, many less so. Most of whom never know the parts they play in the lives of others. Souls such as my brother Greg, my love Janie, our mixed family of grown children and now, grandchildren, Sheryl Cohen, Fred Rogers, Dr. Seuss, David Wilcox, Keith Green, C.S. Lewis, Seth Godin, Ric Hordinski, Ray and Joan Weeks (my parents), Stephen Levine, Barry Wakeman, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Parker Palmer, John McKnight, Bill Kauth, Kurt Vonnegut, Mr. Wendell Berry, Peter Block, Daniel Quinn, Raymond Carver, Thich Nhat Hanh and so many others who have shared in the shedding of light on the spiral path. All saying, "Be Here Now", "Soften", "I'm glad you're here", "Look", "Breathe" or merely whispering "thank you" in their own lives just loud enough for some of us to hear and share their energies, joy and humanity for a moment.
I am thankful to them and others who walk with us a while on our spiral journey.
We have a business that is growing in heart and ability to serve, thanks in part to inspiration from those few I've thanked above, and many I've forgotten to thank today, but will surely mention again. When we started it, I never dreamed its unfolding saga would offer me such blessings as these -- as the challenges and bumps in my slumber that have helped me get even one eye partially open...
Even that business remains a spiral path. Plan and work in clock time. Accept the now, whatever it brings. Practice exploring depth over speed. Know that we are creating an alternative future with the conversations and actions of today, and with a slow and patient pace.
Solvitur Ambulando: It is solved by walking.
Why should we want it any other way?