It is said that one does not begin the true way for a very long time. At first there are many pseudo paths that jostle for one’s attention. That proves that they are mental. But one is made to follow up on each new hint that this might be “the one.” Books are bought, highlighted and discarded. Teachers are sought out and they may even be found. But the student’s being is still fooling around on the mental plane. This goes on for years.
Crushing blows may be administered to the searching ego but the time has not yet come for arrival. But hope is not a bad thing, for the unripe soul is gradually ripening. The tests are necessary and one can only plod along through bad times and bad….
The good times are generally rare and mostly nonproductive, for egos like to slack off whenever possible. So a fire under one’s feet is a good thing. Karlfried Gras von Durkheim spoke of the master always chasing the student back onto the path.
“The man who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his old self to survive.
Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making of it a “raft that leads to the far shore.”
Lately I am getting hints of the true way. Threads like spun gold are being thrown out. They are small and mysterious inklings of the temple bell being struck. Perhaps the pagoda of peace is now within sight. I take refuge in the vow of Kwan Yin, which leads me into serious silence.