I saw this book mentioned on a page over at the inner explorations website, and I'm curious as to whether anyone here has read it. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to purchase this book at the moment, but I've read some previews. It's made me think...
For the past two years, I have worked with the Theravada Buddhist system, which emphasizes an "ascending" type of spirituality. Lately, however, I've been drawn to "descending" spiritual practices-- Grace, surrender, and so on. I seem incapable of "doing" these types of practices, though. "Trying" to surrender is not true surrender.
I have asked for help, and synchronicities seem to lead me to themes of inner work, soul exploration, active imagination, and so on. I used to do these things fairly often, and have had interesting experiences, such as being zapped in the head, precognitive dreams, etc. How does this relate to surrender? I'm not sure...
Actually, I'm not really sure where I'm going with this post. I remain quite firmly in Dark Night territory. Perhaps I am floundering. I feel like a small, frightened, powerless being in a threatening world. Caring for four children is taxing. I quit the job I've loved for five years to start a night shift job tomorrow, at a company I am not fond of. I struggle with my personal and social identity. Why must I spend so much time working to put food on the table? What do I want to do with my life? What determines my inherent worth? Why am I so miserable all the time? My soul longs for nature and solitude, yet in my current situation this is impossible. My relationship with my wife is not so great. I am only 24 years old and all this insanity is happening at once. Some days I really think I'm just going to explode, literally, because I can't handle the stress.
I've packed a backpack with canned food and considered just walking out of my life, into the forest. I've had constant urges like this for over two years. Being winter in Maine, I doubt I would last very long, and I just can't bring myself to leave my children with no financial support, and my wife with no husband.
All this craziness aside, I am constantly drawn to the Christian tradition, again and again, despite attempting to continue my vipassana practice at various times.
I wonder where I might find myself on Washburn's map of development. For some reason this book calls to me. And yet, I feel about as spiritual as rock. I can't even remember my dreams anymore.
Hi Eric. Welcome to the forum.
No, don't walk out on your wife and children. They need you, and there is meaning in your taking responsibility to provide for them as best you can. I know it's difficult, with seemingly insurmountable challenges, but you can do it with God's help.
Re. your thread title -- yes, I've read the book, and corresponded with Michael Washburn years ago. His work figured significantly in a chapter of my book, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality. Michael's book is very well done, though not an easy read.
Keep reading around on this forum, and check out some of the resources on my web site, shalomplace.com. If you would like, I will send you a pdf of my book, God and I: Exploring the Connections Between God, Self and Ego. Maybe it would help you to sort out some of your questions.
I'd also suggest adding Christian prayer to your spiritual practice. Read and reflect on Psalm 37, and the Gospels, as well. Check out Lectio Divina, a traditional method of Christian prayer, and consciously invite Jesus into your life. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7). Keep in touch.
Thanks, Phil. I don't think I ever would really walk out on my family, but it's a constant thought when I'm disgusted with the world.
I will look into the practices you recommend, and keep in touch.
Very good, Eric.
I hope you have some support from family and friends. Lots of stress in your life!
Welcome. I struggled for years with being married yet wanting to be a contemplative nun.
I also felt I could not hurt my spouse like that. Hang in there & see if you can some
how work this out. Is there any way you can get some alone time?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Sue,
I was just looking at the archives and your post called out to me. When I read it, I felt such a pain and tugging in my heart. You were going through such a hard time. I pray that you and your family are well.
What comes to mind is that you might keep on your person some kind of physical aid/reminder of prayer that would also give you physical feedback and help keep you present in the body--prayer beads, a rosary, a favorite rock or anything. My grandfather used to rub quarters smooth. He said it was his way of calling his guardian angel. Real change is subtle and gradual, and may appear quite ordinary.
|Powered by Social Strata|