The Middle Path
Some of you have asked me what my personal spiritual philosophy or path is about. I personally follow what some people call the "Middle path."
It is a spiritual path that is all about balance and self-responsibility. It's a razor's edge that can be difficult to walk. It insists that integrity is not elastic.
How did I learn about this path?
Well, I have had few teachers on this path. I think we could all agree that self-responsibility has never been a popular concept in most Cultures, so finding people who are on this path is not always easy. Often we don't talk about it much.
My life has been my greatest teacher for I have gone out of balance on the path of Balance and I have been irresponsible on the path of Self-Responsibility.
This path includes the understanding that life goes in cycles and that change is constant; for only with change do you experience growth. Learning to let go of expectations and make the most of the things that life brings your way is something that most people would agree sounds like a useful skill.
Taking the steps which lead to self-responsibility leads to spiritual freedom. We get the exact amount of spiritual freedom that we allow the people in our lives. Or we could say that we get the least amount that we allow other people in our lives.
Who is it in your life that you feel the need to control?
Even if you do real well in the control area with most people, you only get the amount of spiritual freedom that you give to that one person.
That doesn't mean that you should let someone else control you either. This path is about balance and self-responsibility-- and supporting those in others. It's not about being a victim -- or a victimizer.
It is about having compassionate, yet detached, love for other beings. All people have their unresolved issues that they are compelled to act out in some way. If there are people who feel compelled to act theirs out in your life, and if you don't want them to -- If it is destructive to your life -- grant them the freedom to act it our somewhere else!
I caused myself a lot of heartache as I lived in extremes for much of my younger life. But slowly I learned that I didn't flourish and I wasn't happy at the limits of my own endurance - and I liked myself better when i lived in the middle.
This path is a slow steady opening that allows time to process new understanding. It includes exciting times of discovery and explosive growth, yes, but also the quiet times to reflect on what you have learned. (See my Post on Bear Medicine!) It is not a path that makes flashy promises. At first glance it may seem like a slower path, but, it is always steady. It includes the understanding that life goes in cycles and that change is constant; for only with change do you experience growth.
Many wise people have said that the assurance of a true spiritual path is that when you look back at your life after a year of truly dedicating yourself to it, you will see that your life has changed and you have grown in your understanding. I can say for certain that it's been true for me!