How do you find your spiritual path? Not an easy question, though easier now than when I was young. Back then I thought there was probably a path. Yet I certainly couldn’t figure out where it was.
In time, you can reach a place where the whole notion of path changes.
Carlos Castaneda said “A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”
That makes sense. Anyone would want to be on a path with heart – whatever that means.
Castaneda elaborates: “For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length–and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.”
I experience a lot of paths: my path on the mountain hiking trail, my path to the grocery store, my path through recovery. But my spiritual path?
A student asked the Zen master to show him the path. The master said follow me.
They went into the jungle. After walking for a while, the student said, “I don’t see a path. We seem to be just wandering aimlessly in the jungle.”
The master said, “I am the path.”
“You’re the path?” the student asked, a bit confused.
The master laughed and said, “I’m kidding. There is no path.”
The master paused for a moment, then added, “And you’d be a fool not to take it.”