The Lion’s Den

Do you ever feel you are walking right into the lion’s den?

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Driving in my car the other morning, scanning the series of turns I have made in recent years, I wonder: am I walking right toward the lion’s den? Here I’ve been, making several turns in my life, hoping—even at times full-heartedly trusting it’s the right turn—thinking perhaps I’ll avoid more suffering and gain more stability, thinking perhaps the ground will look clear and I’ll be on a new path. But, at each turn the road seems to get darker and this is when I wonder am I walking right toward my own destruction?

What if this is true? What if I am indeed walking right toward the lion’s den? If so, what is getting destroyed on the way to the den? What will the lion rip to shreds should I actually go right in to her den? I realize as this journey to, and perhaps in the den goes on, my heart feels like it’s breaking. But, it’s not. It’s actually opening. Expanding. Awakening. The lion, it turns out, is eating the thick flesh surrounding my beating, awakened heart. Not my actual heart.

This is the gift of the lion. Yet, in our minds we create schemes all to avoid this eating. But, the lion will and does have its way. As we avoid her prowess, we walk right into it. And it is not the eating that causes suffering, it is the hesitating, the resisting, the scheming and staying around the periphery of the den that brings the most misery.

But, so many of us have to do this. So many of us, for so long have to stay on the outskirts of this den or maybe even venture far away from it—but, we will all eventually end up in her den, being ravaged by her teeth. Our flesh will be eaten. It is also eaten while we avoid the den. It is eaten while we sit and stare and fear at the den. This slow eating of the flesh, of our small self is what prepares us for the ultimate destruction. The destruction of that small self. We are being prepeared for this encounter—all of us.

As I have moments of this awareness I welcome this and say: let her eat and skin me alive. For, it is the only way to come alive. It is the only way toward true intimacy and union with our higher self. It is the passageway toward truth and as a subscriber on my fan page said in response to my question: Do you ever feel you are walking right toward the lion’s den—? Only those who have the heart of a lion can do it.

It turns out the eating of what surrounds my beating, often aching, but alive heart is what makes me feel less afraid. It turns out the walking toward what will ravage me is my salvation.

Let me say this again: It turns out the walking toward what will ravage me is my salvation.

 

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As I searched for a photo for this piece I realize the story of a lion’s den is in the bible: Daniel in the Lion’s Den. He was thrown in the den for praying, but was left unscathed because of his faith in God. It adds to what I am sharing here: the more conscious we become of this journey, the more faith we will have as we walk, and perhaps even the more we will want to be eaten.

The Soul Reporter

 

Sometimes the Road is Like This

Another short spiritual memoir~

photo

 

The path was icy on my walk the other day. It made me mad. I just wanted to walk—walk lightly and not timidly, afraid to fall. Walk without a care instead of having to be careful. But, sometimes the road is like this.

As I resist the road like this, I wonder: Why do we hate the ice on the road—the obstacles on our path? My answer: We fear our fate. We fear the fall. We fear our incapability. Yet—we do not have to be at the fate of a fall- always.

We can go off to the side where the road is clear or filled with soft snow, which grounds our steps. Or we can walk slowly and tightly uneasy the whole way, ensuring we don’t fall. Or we can let go a bit—find the resources we have, such as swinging our arms which keep us balanced.

But, sometimes even when we are balanced and loose we may fall. This is just life.

A bit later in my walk, as I continued to resist and hate the ice, I found myself in my head demanding the birds sing. Here I was out for a stroll mad about the ice on the road and irritated the birds were not, at the very least, singing to make my stroll more relaxing. At this point I realize: Wow—have I ever been demanding lately? I get why. Most of my mind has been preoccupied on events I have no control over. The ice on the road. The birds in silence, and a great many other things.

This is just life, and sometimes the road is like this.

The Soul Reporter

A Practice with the Unseen.

Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart. ~Rumi

Let us not be fooled that our experiences are merely events happening to us—but, in fact, events happening for us.

I have taken up drawing again. My first drawing was one I copied of a tree. Then, I looked up at the trees outside my window and saw the moon peaking from behind the bare branches. I added the moon to my drawing just as I had seen it outside, and then an owl. I then saw an image in my mind—an old man with a craggily finger pointing toward a long road.

old man

I drew the old man and his wrinkly finger. The wise old man was saying to me: Go, for the road is long. Not only is the road long, but it is unknown. Who knows what we will find there, what twists and turns, treasures and obstacles we will find on our road.

Little did I know that on my road in the past ten years I was shedding tears of suffering, loss and disappointment at each turn in the road not realizing that this turn wasn’t as bad as it can get. It can get worse, and it did. When I first began the journey, ten years ago, when I left my home in the cul-de-sac to live my dreams, I did not know these twists and turns were coming. I thought, arrogantly, hopefully and ignorantly so, I was going to a better life. I didn’t realize the life I was leading was the better life.

Now, I sit in the basement of my father’s home ten years later having given up everything for a dream. This latest turn has brought me to a place inside of myself where I have given up all hope. A place where I no longer think everything is going to get better, even though that is what everyone keeps telling me. A place where I am afraid to keep walking on the road, even though the wise old man tells me to go. Yet, even in this place, I have miraculously pressed on.

I see I have an opportunity here. It occurred to me in the kitchen of my father’s house this morning—I can begin a practice with the unseen—again. I once lived in the unseen, a time before I allowed the stuff of life to take me down into the mud of doubt and shame. The place of the unseen is of Spirit, where a spiritual wisdom lies. It lifts us from the mud, if only for a moment, so that perhaps as Rumi states, our hearts become clear.

This latest turn has been so muddy and murky, it seems I forgot I am of Spirit- that this space exists. Or maybe more true—not forgotten. In fact, I remember Spirit, but felt it had left too, like so many other things, which has caused even more suffering. Here I have been, a person who has devoted my life to my spirituality, and yet, I wasn’t even feeling held by it anymore. I thought it had let me go.

But, every once and awhile, in quiet moments I am lifted above the mud. I see that this experience, this latest turn is happening for me. This is the perspective of Spirit. It asks—what if this crisis is spiritual? What if this experience isn’t happening to me as some cruel twist of fate that is trying to destroy me? What if it is actually happening for me so I again return to Spirit, to apply all that I have learned and practice my faith in the unseen.

The Soul Reporter