I am interested in tuning my ear to the "still, small voice within " which is most often shouted down and ridiculed by the rather loud and overbearing voice of logic and reason. Not that the "thinking mind" is bad but I love RM Jiyu Kennett's comment that "the mind makes a good servant but not a very good master." This goes against the mainstream western view of the world, the world of the expert, the material world of science and stuff.
And while I am drawn to this world of mystery and intuition, it is not my customary stomping ground. I am a stranger in this land, a new comer to these parts. I have cast a disparaging, raised eyebrow on this landscape in the past, dismissing it as the vacation land of new agers and airy fairy folk.
Ray also talked about how as hunter/gatherers, humans were deeply connected to the natural world and that with the advent of agriculture that relationship gradually weakened. It is also interesting to note that nutritional anthropologists mark the advent of agriculture as the starting point of chronic disease in humans. Disease of body and mind; are they connected? Today we not only find ourselves disconnected and disrespectful (my word) of the natural world but Ray comments that we are disembodied. We live mostly in our heads. He is not romanticizing or wishing for a return to the short and difficult life of hunter/gatherers but rather wondering if we might learn to relate to our inner and outer landscape in a more respectful and caring way.
These are the aspects of training that call to me strongly at this time, that make sense at a deep level. Last night I picked up my copy of Ray's book, "Touching Enlightenment: Finding Realization in the Body". I will leave you with this quote from it : "Buddhism, in its most subtle and sophisticated expression, is not a tradition that seeks to provide answers to life's questions or to dispense "wisdom" to allay our fundamental angst. Rather, it challenges us to look beyond any and all answers that we may have found along the way, to meet ourselves in a naked, direct, and fearless fashion."