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TOPIC: Having answers

Having answers 18 Mar 2019 07:00 #110866

On another thread, a Mr. Nicolas said:
Nicolas Overhauser wrote:
I too often wonder where users of these forums end up when they drift off into the unknown, ceasing to contribute. Perhaps these are people that make good progress, have things figured out in their practice but are less willing or skilled to teach others or bring new ideas to the table.

And I thought I'd start a ramble on that subject, because it's something rather biting for me, too. I took two years off from posting, and even now sometimes feel hesitant to post because of changes in my relationship to practice. For instance:

-I went through a few years of being super enthusiastic about teaching other people - I had a teacher, I had some students, I wrote some books, I had a blog. It started out with 'instructions' on how to do what I and some friends had done. It later turned into more preachy musings about the importance of this or that way of looking at things or how to cope with problems that arise in practice. When I trashed the lot of it, it was because it wasn't true. I had come to be quite certain that any awakening that happened was not because I spent three months doing X, and then did the Fourteen Grand Steps of Y, and then did a retreat with Z on the slopes of Mount Amazing, but rather because despite my ingratitude, self-centeredness and utterly stupid practices, God wanted me to live a life in deeper intimacy with Him, and he willingly forgave my idiocy and like a dad helping the wobbly toddler climb the stairs, He stepped down and helped me up. As Little Saint Therese said, you just have to stand there at the bottom step and valiantly keep trying to put your foot on the next step, with a good heart and true desire to get to the top, and God will take pity on you and come down and carry you up. And it feels like that.

So when on occasion people say they want to read my 'instructions' so they can 'get where I got' I think that's missing the point. It isn't a 'pay three dollars, get a popcorn' system.

Moreover, if, in the very beginning, I simply wanted to die in a less awful way then my dad and our friend, who died rather badly at nearly the same time and kickstarted my practice (hey, no one asks me if they can re-live those experiences so as to kickstart a really productive meditation practice!! right?), that goal got lost along the way. Once practice kicked into high gear my new intention - spoken every day, spontaneously - was "I want divine light, love and wisdom". And at this point I really don't have a clue where anything goes or what might happen. I suppose my only intention now that is constant (besides incidental things like praying for people who ask me pray for them and such) is to always be faithful to God, through thick and thin, as He has been to me, never giving up on me despite my tantrums and frustrations and lack of etiquette and doubts and so on.

So it's a bit hard to have pat answers for questions people might ask. Each person's circumstances are entirely different, and their capacity to understand varies, and what would be the perfect answer for one person will be useless or even counterproductive for another. I gave up going to public or even group presentations, talks and teachings because the information is nearly useless - it's aimed at a crowd of 10 or 100 people, and addresses no one in particular. I used to take notes diligently at every talk. I often don't even pay attention anymore. I have a box full of notebooks full of notes taken at talks, retreats and homilies, all of it useless.

I can't remember what else I was going to say... I think about practice being something sacred, and holding a reverence and awe for our spiritual life. It is such a gift, such a treasure, to be called to even have a spiritual life at all - many people don't have the remotest interest. It's even more of a treasure if you manage to engage with it and stick with it. Not something to be a snob about. Something to be grateful for. Like that.

Anyway, that's the morning ramble on that matter. Thanks to Nicolas for provoking the post. Thoughts?
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The following user(s) said Thank You: shargrol, Kacchapa, Junglist, Linda ”Polly Ester”
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Replies in Topic: Having answers

Having answers Ona Kiser 18 Mar 2019 07:00
Having answers Chris Marti 18 Mar 2019 09:04
Having answers matthew sexton 18 Mar 2019 12:06
Having answers Laurel Carrington 18 Mar 2019 14:54
Having answers Ona Kiser 18 Mar 2019 20:28
Having answers Rod 28 Mar 2019 20:51
Having answers Nicolas Overhauser 18 Mar 2019 23:31
Having answers Curious Malcolm 19 Mar 2019 03:52
Having answers Chris Marti 19 Mar 2019 07:40
Having answers Chris Marti 19 Mar 2019 08:00
Having answers Curious Malcolm 19 Mar 2019 13:30
Having answers Ona Kiser 19 Mar 2019 13:39
Having answers Curious Malcolm 19 Mar 2019 15:44
Having answers Chris Marti 19 Mar 2019 15:53
Having answers Ona Kiser 19 Mar 2019 16:05
Having answers Curious Malcolm 19 Mar 2019 18:55
Having answers Ona Kiser 19 Mar 2019 16:13
Having answers shargrol 19 Mar 2019 17:04
Having answers Ona Kiser 19 Mar 2019 20:43
Having answers Junglist 20 Mar 2019 07:29
Having answers Curious Malcolm 28 Mar 2019 05:39
Having answers Chris Marti 28 Mar 2019 07:28
Having answers Nicolas Overhauser 19 Mar 2019 08:26
Having answers Chris Marti 19 Mar 2019 08:44
Having answers Linda ”Polly Ester” 03 Apr 2019 02:27
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