Spring '00 Issue 13
WorldDharma-A Former Monk Looks Beyond Buddhism-An Interview with Alan Clements
On the Path
The Direct Path: Immanence and Transcendence: SocialActivism in a WorldSaturated with Divinity An Interview with Andrew Harvey
Marrow of Flame Poems of the Spiritual Journey
Dreams of Kindness, Love and Grace
Medicinal Marijuana: It’s a Long Way to the Pharmacy
13 Moon Community
Doing Time in Timelessness The Yoga of Prison
On The Path by Bob Czimbal
In this amusement park of life, I’ve come to know something: this world needs all of us to be explorers of the inner realm.
During the last three decades of my life I’ve been riding in the front seat of a macrocosmic roller coaster. The early 70’s was a big time for all of us old enough to really go out and play and I certainly had the first major peak of my liferide in the early years of that decade. I founded the Cherry Grove Retreat Center outside of Portland, an amazing adventure all by itself. I was teaching yoga and meditation classes, and my son was born there. A big high . . . Then I plunged down into divorce and single parenting. That shattered a worldview or two. The ride back up began in 1984, when I taught seminars on “The Art of Friendship” and entered the Tunnel of Love of my marriage. A few years later, I hit my all time low when I was rear-ended and seriously injured. Now I celebrate each day that I’m above ground.
In this amusement park of life, I’ve come to know something: this world needs all of us to be explorers of the inner realm. I am committed to searching the evolving “edges” of this realm on a full time basis. One of the edges I am exploring now is being 52 years old and struggling with not having the physical energy levels of my youth. But I have to admit the compensation is goodmy spiritual instincts are much stronger as a result of a lot of life-experience.
Another edge is “interdependence,” a virtue I am consciously working to develop now. Though I enjoy exploring alone, there are times I feel lonely on the edge and need to come in from the cold. Interdependence is that quality of being that strikes a balance between the profound awareness honed in solitude and having more fun in the company of others.
I am learning, “No one heals alone... no one grows alone.” These days, I surround myself with people I resonate with. I seek relationships with those who want to be mutual mentors. I desire seven chakra friendships with people who can meet me full-on. The wonderful truth is that there are many fellow explorers in this world, people dedicated not only to the good but to intense creativity. They teach me about friendship, passion and compassion. I enjoy pretending that everyone I meet is a great spiritual mentor with a unique lesson I can learn only from them. I’m learning all the time.
I want to keep expanding my spiritual community. When we nurture each other our spirits grow. All of the world’s problems can be improved by increasing love and consciousness. The human spirit is evolving, and through that process we are evolving as a species. We are Kindred Spirits.
I realize every day that my spiritual well-being is affected by my external environment. The path is a circle. I care for myself, I care for my friends, we care for the Earth and the Earth cares for us. I think of the Earth as a one-of-a-kind species in the universe, and I honor it. I know that my life makes a difference. I feel the wisdom I am acquiring contributes to a critical mass of consciousness. I am convinced that I have the power to change the world, one friendship at a time.
On the Path there are no rules, no experts, no right answers, no guarantees, no maps. The only way to move forward is to live free of fear. The alternative is to not growand that is just too painful. I’m committed to jumping over, tunneling under, knocking down or going around barriers to my progress. I trust that resources will appear once I step forward. Being fearless means accepting the consequences of my actions. When I am judged or misunderstood, it is often a sign that I am ahead of my time. Exploring the edge is always a mix of adventure and struggle.
I am not required to change anything on the outside, but I know from past travels that I may be called to change everything on the inside. I vow to get rid of everything that does not serve me. Transformation means to transcend existing formations. My main obstacles are conditioned or self-imposed limitations.
In the past I was satisfied with casting pebbles into a pond to generate ripples of change. But chaos theory teaches that the flutter of a butterfly wing in one part of the world can be the catalyst of a great wind someplace else. Just so, what we do spiritually and socially may seem local, but in fact contributes to the evolution of our species of Kindred Spirits. My current mantra is: “Set my life on fire and seek those who fan my fame.”
Bob Czimbal is co-author of “Kindred Spirits: The Quest for Deep Intimacy,” and many other articles. You can reach him at The Abundance Company (c)2000, 503/232-3522 www.A-Bun-Dance.com eMail the author.
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