When we begin to engage in a slow spirituality, we open the pathways to genuine inspiration and insight. We begin to find our way into an authentic engagement with the questions of life’s meaning and purpose, thus cultivating a true appreciation and enjoyment of being human. This can happen because we now are actually awake to the journey and not following some rote pattern. Just as the slow food movement attends to every detail of an edible life, the slow spirituality movement tends to the depth and breadth of a truly devout life. It’s not that we attend a few meditation retreats or read books on mindfulness and we are good to go. That’s not the point. The point is to slow down and enjoy the journey, to be present in this moment while staying connected to the inherent mystery of all that is.
What if we don't need to learn how to navigate transitions. Instead, why not discover how to be in right relationship with our inner landscape and how to adjust our attitude towards change? The term navigate implies that we can exercise some sort of control or influence over the road ahead; we lead ourselves to believe that we might be able to avoid what we don’t want or to imagine we can intentionally manifest our preferences. Though there are many self-help and new age formulas claiming to teach the secrets of how to, in ten steps or less, manifest our desires and dreams, I prefer to orient my practice and my teaching towards the dynamic relationship between our inner and outer life, cultivating a healthy response to what is, while being receptive to what might be. This is a lifestyle adjustment.
It was at Esalen this summer when Bernie was forging a channel of change into the collective zeitgeist as a rising liberal anti establishment truth teller sage and savior. I was in the lodge watching one of the primary debates clandestinely, as Esalen doesn’t have a particularly robust wifi stream and prefers that technology remain in the background, if it is present at all. But I couldn’t resist. It felt like too important a time and too important a moment for me to not at least take a peek. While nonchalantly watching my iPhone on my lap with my earbuds in, I noticed the young attractive man at the table next to mine. He was probably in his late twenties with dark hair, brown eyes, three-day-old facial hair, and a mischievous though cautious smile. I caught him watching me and made a casual invitation for him to join which he politely refused.
I remember when it all came tumbling down on me—the moment when I collapsed in a heap under the realization that I was not real. I had already suspected this was true, but knowledge can’t touch the inherent truth of what is. I was completely obliterated.Read more