My Bishop used to say, “Choose one path and stay with it if you want to reach the top. Switching pathways only keeps you wandering around the base of the mountain.”
The question hung in my being for two weeks. Have I just been wandering around the base of the mountain? I’ve not stuck with one path. I left the Gnostic Church after being ordained to the priesthood. I did stay with a wisdom teacher for twenty years at which point I felt I’d received all I could from him. Since then I’ve explored many different avenues, each of which could have been a life’s work: various forms of meditation, energy healing, mind/body techniques, front lines in neurological and epigenetic exploration. I’ve explored how hereditary traumas can pass down to later generations. I learned that the egg from which I was first formed was in my mother when she was just an egg in her mother. Have I just been dabbling? I certainly have no material position or platform in the world to show this is who I am and what I do.
I sat in meditation feeling the pain in my body until it called me to the bathtub. The water was not hot enough when I got in and I had to wait for the tank to heat again. I dove into my being with all the tools I’ve learned, Vipassana, Presence Process, tapping, hooponopono, accepting, watching, seeing… My immigrant maternal grandmother’s trauma revealed itself with more fullness than I’d seen up to this point. I felt its impact on my mother, witnessing her familiar characteristics as part of that pattern. I saw in turn how the patterns passed to me, and how I passed it along to my children. I saw anger, resentment, and bitterness. I saw how I carried what didn’t really belong to me but lived and had effect in me nevertheless.
I saw that the patterns and people at whom I pointed my finger were mirrors of myself, and I drew my attention from out to in. By the time the water became hot enough to stay I’d surrendered to my shadow. Metaphorically down on my knees I heard Leonard Cohen, “When they said repent I wondered what they meant.” Now I knew. I was in a state of repentance. I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.
I felt I’d just experienced another Baptism (we can have many over the course of the years). I got out of the bath and returned to sitting. With spine erect, hands in meditative mudra, I felt a halo about my whole body. It was a mandala of wholeness made up of all the various studies and practices I’ve learned, all the pathways I’ve only partially taken. Each one was crucial to the whole, none were false starts or errors, and I’d abandoned nothing. Each avenue of exploration contributed to this moment of recognition—I am whole. I allow my life to be what it will be. I am not in error needing to be fixed. I am not sick needing to be healed. All that I’ve loved, hated, been disrupted by, resisted… all are my teachers on this one pathway to the summit of this life.