I went to a Process Work session today, and it brought up the different ways Path shows up when filtered through the different levels.
At the nondual (Big Mind) level, there is no path – the idea of path doesn’t make sense. Or we can say that it is impossible to not be on the path. Everything just is, manifestations of Buddha Mind, God’s play, emptiness dancing. Everything is path.
At our soul and human levels, there are indeed paths – and they are very real for us.
No path and paths together
As they say in Zen, everything is perfect as it is and there is room for improvement. There is the nondual beyond and including perfection and imperfection, and there is the real of perfection and imperfection.
In terms of our path, we are always on in and we are it at a nondual level. And as guided by our soul or wished for by our human self, we can definetely be more or less on it.
Withouth the pathlessness, we can easily get too caught up in the path – take it too seriously. We are stuck in the relative.
And without the path, we can aimlessly wander around – not caring about what is nurturing and what is not. Being stuck in absolute.
For me, I was strongly on my path while living in Norway and Utah. There was a strong sense of everything unfolding beautifully, of strong and clear guidance, of maturing, of finding my way in the world in many ways. I was deeply on my path at my human and soul levels.
At the same time, I saw that at the nondual level there was no way anyone could be “off the path” – everything is an expression of God so there is no path to be off.
Then, during the dark night phase, there was an equally strong sense of being off the path – at least as I had experienced my path earlier. I was cut off – externally and internally, from everything that had provided such as deep sense of nourishment, meaning and fulfillment.
I felt completely derailed, which was true in many ways. At the same time, I knew I could learn from it – mature through it, see something I earlier didn’t want to see, and through all this deepen my sense of ordinariness and empathy.
Now, there is the beginnings of a release from this dark night and the derailment. The bits and pieces are coming back, gradually – as a slow soul retrieval process. What came so effortlessly earlier, and also seemed so extraordinary, is now coming back in a different way. Through more of an intention and a more conscious process, and seeming very ordinary and simple.
It also seems clear that one of my tasks now is to nurture the soul level far more than I could during the dark night phase, and far more than I did by choice at the Zen center. To allow it back in, with its tremendous sense of guidance, fullness, richness, maturing, deepening, meaning, purpose, calling, and – yes – path. A unique path for me in this life, unveiled gradually.
And some of the simple ways to connect with this more deeply is through what is deeply nurturing for me, such as Breema, drawing, music, nature, good relationships and even planning for the future – exploring deeply nurturing and meaningful, and realistic, options.