Spiritual Maturity

bridge, Lake Junaluska, Waynesville, NC 

At a retreat a few weeks ago, the teacher quoted his teacher: enlightenment is simply being a spiritual adult.

Agree and believe many of us have a mostly unconscious need to find someone or some systematic path to tell us what to do - to be happy, wise, or enlightened. How do I find Truth, God, or—a rose by any other name? 

The Rose Walk, Lake Junaluska

Someone, show me the way, please! In my case, this conditioning probably came straight from my DNA. Raised a Catholic, my mother's ancestors and I were given a clear-cut map of how to get to heaven. When that no longer made sense to me, I was sure the way was as simple as a macrobiotic diet, and then, encounter groups, Zen, and several other paths to get there 

sign, Lake Junaluska

On a very deep, wordless level I believed it had to be through a teacher or system, one that required me to unconsciously or consciously give up responsibility for knowing truth for myself. 

What is a spiritual adult? Wonderful, grounding, and difficult, at the moment. Getting glimpses of what I can only call truth has not been fun, easy, or for that matter—stoppable. Am thinking the so-called "dark night of the soul" is for some of us—a deep sadness and despair at how utterly alone we are after a certain point.** At the same time, and this feels humorous—I have a serious allergy to proclamations, memes, interpretations of how we should behave, and what we need to do in life. Especially in spirituality words can be so far off the mark, and so solid and inadequate as guides to truth that they become impediments to it. (Slap me with a sweaty yoga towel if I ever start spouting advice here!)

So I give up! The things I care about are falling away, and I'm left with...nothing—which is exactly the point, my teacher would say. No one told me it would be so UN-fun. My yoga practice is in shambles from shoulder pain; genuine communications are at a standstill; dear cat Buster died unexpectedly last week; and my brother languishes in hospice. I don't want to do anything, and so many things hurt in so many different ways.

bridge, Lake Junaluska

Oddly, a useful meme/cliché comes to mind, "It's all good."  And I am doing something: observing, letting things be, not running away/running away, and mostly not looking at life through anyone else's (no matter how venerated) truth lens. 

showing up, growing up
amazing grace

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

- William Shakespeare

Rose is a rose is a rose.
- Gertrude Stein

sign, Lake Junaluska
a ritual involving Coca Cola or notice that one's travel plans are affirmed?

sign, Lake Junaluska
Am I there yet?

Please excuse the errors and typos in the original post. Edited  4/17/16 

sweet words from Bob Dylan:

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse

When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel, ah how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

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