Sunday, September 12, 2010

Which Path?

My partner Bill and i go outdoors together and engage in parallel play. He does wood; i do dirt. He looks up to the trees around our house; i look down to flowers and weeds.

Occasionally we call to each other, "Hey! I need a consultation over here." We enjoy the bnefit of an extra set of eyes, another mind with creative ideas.

In the evening, after dinner, we stroll through the garden. He plans which branches to prune; i decide which plants i want to move. The effect is gracious as he subtracts trees at the edge of the woods, and i add flowering plants.

Our friends may follow a different spiritual path than we do, yet we still may gain from the cross-fertilization of meditation and contemplation. Although i am completely happy with my path of Theravadin Buddhism (from Southeast Asia), and i highly recommend it, i never cease to be amazed at the different doors that people walk through. One friend loves Thich Nhat Hanh. Another is so "Tibetan," that path obviously fits him better. And then there's that out-of-the box Zen friend.

Never mind that our minds don't work in the same ways. We can call on our spiritual friends for consultation in our lives when we need that. Our mutual goal is kindness.

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