[It is still hours before dawn breaks over the Land of the Rising Sun. I am sharing this dream with you because writing is how I process and publishing is how I let go of what I process.]
Yesterday I participated in Shinnyo-en Buddhist meditation, having my inner world mirrored back to me through the words of another. My mirror was Rev. Minoru Shitara, Director of International Relations for Shinnyo–en. This is what I was told: “You are wandering and worrying that your wondering is without purpose. You cannot see where you are going or why, or whether or not it matters. Release the worrying, there is no knowing for you, only wandering. Trust the wandering.”
Yes, I am wandering and I have no firm sense of direction, and I do worry about this. This is true physically as well as spiritually. I have difficulty distinguishing “right” from “left,” and am easily lost and spatially disoriented. Nevertheless I did not like what I heard. Sadly, I could not “unhear” it.
Moments ago I awoke from a dream. I’m walking a rope bridge strung over a vast chasm. I can’t see where I’d come from or where I’m going. There is no sense of going back or going forward, only walking on. My dream self recalled the story of Abraham leaving all he knew and walking (physically and spiritually, outwardly and inwardly) into the not–known, and said, “But at least Abraham had the promise of arriving and there of becoming a blessing to all the families of the earth, whereas I have no such promise and no such hope. Please show me more.”
I watched as the dreamscape expanded and I could see a wider view. The rope bridge grew longer and the walker grew smaller, but still no beginning or end came into view. I again asked for more, and again the bridge grew longer and the walker even smaller, and still no beginning or end. Again and again I asked for the view to widen, and finally I say this: at the one end of the bridge birthing and dying, and at the other dying and birthing. And the now almost invisible dreamer walked on. With this I awoke.
Over these past few days among these amazing teachers from so many paths and countries I have been reminded of my wandering. I am like the ancient Judeans who would pack a sack of sand from the Promised Land when travelling abroad so that their god could recognize them. I carry a sack of Jewish sand as I wander physically, psychologically, and spiritually far beyond the borders of my home not so that god will recognize me, but to recognize myself and in this way honor my tribe and my ancestors and my heritage. And yet, as I admitted without hesitation but a few hours ago, I am a hasid of Jesus, indeed I am a lover of the Beloved in all Her forms and hasid of all her saints and prophets, and I am a “victim” of the formless nondual whose love is all consuming and self erasing.
I didn’t choose this “path” I simply find myself on it. Decades ago Reb Zalman told me this would be my way, but I neither believed him nor understood his meaning. Now there is no talk of believing or understanding, just walking on over this chasm from nowhere to nowhere. “No wonder you don’t take students!” a teacher told me recently. Perhaps so.