“Two roads diverged in the woods and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost
I am coming up against a dilemma in my life which has to do with my spiritual life and spiritual path. For approximately the past 6 years, I have be a student of the Diamond Approach, otherwise sometimes known as Diamond Heart or Ridhwan, which was founded by a fully brilliant man named Hameed Ali, (pen name A.H.Almaas). It has been a very powerful support for me and I deeply feel that I have deepened, stilled and expanded significantly through my work within that particular path. Since the beginning of 2009, I have become a traveler and foresee that continuing with roughly three months home, three months away, three months home, three months away for at least the next year if not longer. As you probably already know if you’ve been a reader of this blog on a regular basis, the world in essence has become my “church,” my spiritual path, and my travels have the effect of accelerating my growth and awareness. As I travel, I am not so much of a sightseer, but more of a student of my own experience when placed up against new places, cultures, situations and relationships. I am becoming more and more certain that the true spiritual path for me at this time is one of engagement and of striving to be ever more present within each moment of my life. It’s incredibly simple in that way and of course the not-so-small challenge is in actually living that.
I love the Diamond Approach in that it not only helps one to move closer and closer to one’s true experience, but also has a strong encouragement, and practice, of living our realization, not just on the meditation cushion or on a weekend, but in our everyday lives. By being away from home so much in my life these days, I am also away from the school and thus the question has been arising as to how I can keep my connection to this school that I love while allowing the natural unfoldment of my path in the world.
By being away from home, I miss perhaps one half of the weekend retreats (although I listen to them on recording) and half of my groups. I went to my small group (regular meeting with just a smaller subsection of the larger group) last night after having been away since the beginning of July, and the first thing that hit me in walking into to the room was, “These are my people.” And they truly are. As I spoke to the group, I realized that they are my people because more than any others in my life, they want me to truly and authentically be me, exactly as I deeply am, exactly as I am hoping to become. They not only want this for me, but they encourage me, through the courage of their own explorations which I am privileged to support and witness, and through their love for the me/one that I am becoming. In many ways, this school and this group is responsible for this blog, for the writings here are in large part the self-inquiry and exploration that I do while not within the holding space of the larger school. The path of self-study/inquiry has been taught to me, and in me now there is a deep desire to know the truth, the truth of my experience, the truth of all that is within this moment, exactly as it is.
And so there is a quandary at the moment, for it is strongly being advised by some of my teachers within Diamond Heart to be certain to attend the one annual 8 day retreat that we have in February of each year, and I was thinking I would likely be on the road during that time, perhaps, although not certainly, back in India which I find to be the most magical place by far that I have ever been. .Last year I was planning on coming back to the US for that retreat, but somehow India gently put its hands to my throat and held me there. In hindsight, that decision to stay in India was deeply important in that it was an acting out of a separation from my mother (represented by the comforts of home) and a venturing forth further into the unknown. There is much freedom in my life today (difficult to describe but deeply felt) which has come directly from the making of that choice.
In some ways I feel very ready to leave the nest, and in a large part I already have. But I also know that there is much much more to learn from this school and path, so I am not so willing to just leave it behind. At the moment it is simply an open question.
My apologies for not writing much since I’ve returned. In part that is because I’ve been recovering from this trip, both emotionally and physically. I’ve also been working on editing a compilation of sorts so more effort has gone into that than directly into writing new posts. When home I also have more creative outlets such as music, woodworking, home projects, cooking, etc., so my focus is a little more spread around. And like I say, when I’m traveling, I tend to get pushed more up against things so the pen flows more freely then, but now that I feel more rested and recovered, I think there will be more writing here on a regular basis.