Monday, March 08, 2010

The Path To The Temple

Chilly morning,stone steps.
The path to the temple is steep.
We may stumble at times,
but we must always get up again.

These words from the Tao are meant to be a metaphor for the spiritual journey. However, since all of life is spiritual and all of life is a journey, I believe these words are meant for all parts of our lives. My granddaughter thinks I am very old because my hair and beard are gray and my skin is wrinkled. My friends in their 80's think I am still a boy. Either way I feel like I have been long on the journey of life. In a few weeks I will be 59 years, or 21,550 days, old. If I am honest, and I always try to be, many mornings are chilly and the path to the temple seems steep. I stumble a lot. There's a reason this blog is titled "Stumbling along the Spiritual Path". I am not great nor heroic. The success of my life is due to my ability to regain my balance from the missteps I have taken and that whenever I have completely fallen, I get back up. Most days aren't so dramatic. These days it's mostly a matter of doing what I need to do when I would rather not. The most challenging thing for me at this time of my life is a sense of fatigue that never goes away. It is not always a matter of sleep. It's a weariness caused by doing many things for a long time mixed with an occasional sense of boredom. An analogy for how I often feel is the experience of being near the end of a long drive. You are going down the highway and you see a sign that tells you home is only 30 more miles. You feel some excitement but that last 30 miles feels like a hundred miles. All you want to do is get home and fall asleep in your bed. In case some of you are concerned, my bed is not a metaphor for death. If anything, it's probably a metaphor for retirement! I am happy and my life is good. I am just anxious to get to the end of the path leading to the temple. I'm a little tired of the journey and I want to sit in the temple, next to a warm fire, and simply rest.

Yesterday, I wasn't exactly in the temple but I sat cross legged in the grass of my front yard, under the warm sun, practicing Zen with my granddaughter. Like most children, my granddaughter is full of energy and a little hyper. I've been teaching her how to focus and to be still. Yesterday we sat in my front yard like two Buddhas. Such moments are what make being a Pa Paw so great.

This afternoon I was sitting in my car, waiting for my wife, while listening to "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" from jazz great, Miles Davis. My eyes were closed and I must have been in that twilight state just before falling asleep. The next thing I know my wife is beating on the window. It scared the crap out of me! Talk about a wake up call! It was like the temple gong had been hit with a big wooden mallet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Mystic, I happened on to your blog by way of a couple of blogger friends. Noticed your favorite book list and noted you are a fan of Jean Auel. That is my most favorite of all fiction and I have read a lot. First met Clan of the Cave Bears in philosophy class while in nursing school. I have them all read them twice and waiting anxiously for the last one. What do you think about the chances of getting the last one? Blessings to you.