What to do when life gets complicated
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about The Meditation Habit and the Wisdom Heart Community. It was all getting too complicated. Our communication was unclear. As one person put it, “I’m confused.”
What to do?
Sometimes you just have to stop. Take a breath. Settle down. And then . . . once settled . . . begin again.
That’s what I’m doing. Right now.
Stop. Breathe. Settle . . .
Here’s what’s clear:
Wisdom Heart isn’t about programs (even though our programs are amazing.)
- Wisdom Heart is about enriching & supporting your spiritual life (on the meditation cushion, in relationships, at work . . . everywhere!)
So, what enriches & supports spiritual life?
Here are some of the biggies:
Getting the guidance you need to sustain and deepen your meditation practice.
Real-time conversation with teachers and friends on the path.
Teachings that apply the timeless wisdom to your everyday situation.
The path is never a solo journey.
We all need teachers and guides on the path. We need allies and adversaries. (Yes, both!) It takes all kinds of encounters to keep us awake. We need gentleness and fierceness to encourage us ‐ so we take our next truthful, whole‐hearted step.
Life will provide everything you need.
Life will bring you teachers. Some be seated on meditation cushions. Others will be seated in a car, right behind yours . . . and they will be honking angrily.
Life will provide a rich array of allies and adversaries. Life is generous that way and won’t miss an opportunity to remind you to wake up.
Life will send you everything you need.
So, why bother with something like the Wisdom Heart Community?
Why connect with a community, when life will provide teachers, allies, and adversaries? It’s a good question and it reminds me of a scene from the movie Beautiful Mind.
The film, starring Russell Crowe, tells the true story of John Forbes Nash. Nash was a mathematical genius, who made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim.
But, his brilliant brain turned against him, plunging Nash into a paranoid, painful, spiral of schizophrenia ‐ complete with realer-than-real hallucinations. Following these visions and voices nearly cost Nash his life.
There’s an amazing scene towards the end of the film when Nash, having overcome his mental illness, comes out of a classroom after delivering a lecture. He’s approached by a man whom he has never seen before.
The man says, “I’ve come to talk with you about being awarded the Nobel Prize.”
Nash stops. He’s suffered too much from listening to voices and visions. He breathes. He takes a few seconds to settle down.
Then Nash does something very wise.
He turns towards one of the students coming out of the classroom. “Excuse me ‐ do you see the man standing there? Is he in your line of vision? Is he real?” The student says yes and Nash turns back towards the man: “Okay, I’ll listen to you now.”
Nash had learned that awakening to truth isn’t a solo journey. He learned the necessity of leaning into community. That’s something I’ve had to learn, as well.
Awakening isn’t just a matter of study, reflection, and meditation.
It’s also about opening up to relationships and leaning into community. It takes courage to lean into community. At least it does for me.
I’m not a natural “joiner”.
So, leaning into being supported always makes me feel a bit vulnerable. That’s why for decades I fashioned myself a lone wolf . . . walking solo on the spiritual path. But, this was a big lie. A strategy for avoiding the vulnerability essential for deeper awakening. I’m not on my own. None of us are. We’re in this together.
Thanks to Kriyananda, Devi, Nathaniel, Aaron, Laura, the Brain Trust . . . I’ve gradually learned how to lean into community; how to receive support ‐ along with supporting others. While I’m still learning how to do this, here’s what I know from over forty years of walking this path:
It’s rare to find people who really get how central spirituality is in your life. It’s precious when you do.
There are a lot of folks swarming around in the spiritual marketplace.
Some will be too woo-woo for you. Other will think you live in Woo-Woo City. Others won’t judge but they’re not available for soul‐deep conversation in a way that nourishes you.
We need connection and community.
We need to find people who get it and who can engage in the on‐going conversation of awakening. This is what I remember when I stop. Breathe.
Wisdom Heart is a Community devoted to the on‐going, joyful, ever‐deepening conversation of awakening.
It’s time to lean. The conversation continues . . .