Friday, November 6, 2009

Spiritual Path As Heros Journey

Orange Buddha wandered into the studio the other day looking for a facial. "I've been hanging out in the hallway feeling a little dark, a little flat, perhaps a little too tentative. Maybe I need a little paint Dharma," he said. I invited him to hop up on the easel and we'd spend a little time together, exploring the possibilities. And here he is, post facial, feeling a little lighter, more defined, no botox required. We shared some fine time together and parted company both in good spirits.

I have been reading a book by Lama Surya Das called "Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be". Does that sound too "self-helpy"? I am always drawn to Dharma books that offer specific ideas for working with your life and this is one of them. It is true that we are fine just the way we are but we could all do a little better. That's what I like about Buddhist thought, these 2 seeming contradictions don't stand against each other. I thought I'd share some tidbits from the book that seemed helpful and uplifting in contemplating daily life.

In a chapter called "You Are The Hero of Your Own Life," he says: "Walking the spiritual path is inevitably an heroic journey. ... Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning and stumbling to the shower, requires a heros spirit. Trying to live a meaningful life requires a brave heart. Whenever we try to act in ways that correspond with our deepest beliefs and values, we will, by definition, face major challenges. ... How are we being called, and are we heeding our deeper call? In what ways are we being deceptive or truthful? How are we being brave or cowardly? As seekers we are climbing huge mountains, but we are climbing them step by step. ... We can rescue our heroic higher Self from our conflict-ridden and ego-driven self concepts. We can save ourselves from preoccupation, narcissism, indolence, hedonism and love of comfort."

Right now rain is lashing in, riding sideways on the wind from the south, from the ocean, just down the street. Winter in the Pacific Northwest: no snow, no below zero temperatures, just lots of grey and white sky, wetness and wind. Bone chilling, drenches you in minutes. Can you hear my comfort seeking behaviour! Perhaps I should try out the storm lovers stance? I have seen them out there, facing into the wind driven water, hanging out with the cleansing sea breezes and the powerful pounding waves. Where will your heros journey take you today?


  1. "Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning and stumbling to the shower, requires a heros spirit. Trying to live a meaningful life requires a brave heart."

    For me these days this is actually true...getting in and out of the tub takes courage...every day is a heroes journey...healthy or sick. It takes courage to paint with be so bold. It takes courage and commitment to trust that yes indeed orange and green are exactly what are required...just like facing the rain and the wind.

    Your paintings and words always inspire me!
    gentle steps,

  2. Hmm this is a case of a very fine crunchy peanut butter sandwhich with blackberry jam.

      The peanut butter crunchy of course is the yet to be felt experiences, observed wished for and nearly crystalised ...

      and the jam combination that rockets that sandwich so exquisitely to a refined experience ...

      So yes you will get out there and feel that total experience because it is there now in your mind ...

      and yes it will all fold into your work unknowingly have a ball, and save me a sandwich.

  3. Thanks both for your visit. And yes Laura I thought of you when I read that getting to the shower can be a heros journey! How enriching that you can make this your path and share it with us all.

    And yum for the peanut butter & blackberry jam. I am honoured to be in such tasty company!

  4. Yes, "whenever we act in ways that correspond to our deepest beliefs and values we will face major challenges..." Wow - so true for me these days as I find myself shifting into new awarenesses. And, "How are we being called, and are we heeding our deeper call?" Also my experience, trying to be true to my own inner rhythms and the deeper call of "The Rhythm", finding the harmony with in it all and not succumbing to the challenges that seem to pull me out of it! Sometimes that requires a little Chocolate! Yum... C

  5. Thank you so is so easy to forget. The quote "Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning and stumbling to the shower, requires a heroes spirit" was a simple reminder of all of our lives. Yesterday, I ended the day breaking something I thought was so important...letting go and going on...we all are living our best lives or at least noticing!
    I like your "Post Orange Buddha"!

  6. lovely exploring your blog. thought you might like checking out some of the buddhas/madonnas of sas colby. if so, just google her name.
    i should be more of a hero and stumble to the shower rather than the coffee!!
    good life reminders, thanks .

  7. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the sas colby suggestion. I went for a peek. I love her work, the altar and book idea. Her work is exquisite. I am always blown away by the human imagination and creative spirit when I see people doing truly inspiring and different things. I was drooling over the Taos workshop on art and spirit sas will do in July.