On the path of awakening, we proceed at the pace of integration—as quickly as we can process our experiences.
This can feel incredibly slow.
We’d like to hurry things along—to get through the messy, confusing, slogging-through-the-dark part of the journey, so we can get to a more certain, settled and secure place.
But here’s what we need to know:
The turmoil isn’t a mistake. It’s a revelation of what is unintegrated. Life is slowing us down to reconnect with all that has been denied—and, perhaps, demeaned. We are now (and always) being called to redeem that which has been rejected and unloved.
There’s no skipping steps. The journey of awakening circles back to whatever (and whoever) has been left behind. It circles back again and again, with ever increasing urgency. Because nothing and nobody can be left behind. This principle of integration operates individually and collectively.
How do we find the strength to continue? Here’s what the wisdom traditions have always taught: it won’t come from willpower or grim determination. Rather, the strength that is the ally of integration comes from cultivating a grateful heart. “But, wait!” the mind reels. “How can gratitude be helpful now?”
It seems paradoxical—and it is! The path is paved with paradoxes. Here’s how this paradox works: by cultivating gratitude, we open an inner door to a strength that is deeper than willpower—and more sustainable. We connect with the river of innate strength that comes from assenting and aligning with life’s integrating current. (That’s why we’re offering the Gratitude-a-Palooza.)
Let’s start with a story…
Once upon a yogi time, a disciple came to the guru and said, “I am about to leave the ashram to enter the world and follow my life path. I know I’ll never see you again. Please give me one teaching that will ensure that I continue on the path of awakening.”
To hear the rest of the story, watch the short video below:
Love & Shanti,
E & D
Author: Eric Klein
Image: author’s original illustration
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina