Many Paths Home

Path by Tim Green

Path by Tim Green

On this blog, I recommend a specific approach and practices. I’ve seen this as very effective for quality of life, smooth awakening, and a full process including the refined stages.

Each of us uniquely combines laws of nature. This is designed specifically to contribute another perspective to the whole. We’re designed to be distinctive variations on a theme.

What I recommend will support many paths, but we each have our own journey to take. What will support your journey will also be distinct.

Some of us find an obvious line early on. Others need to sample from different approaches, perhaps to find a groove. Or we’ll shift at different stages of the journey. What we need to learn is also distinct.

For teachers, it’s natural to share what worked for them and recommend it as The Way. That was true for them. If something has worked well, they may not have been exposed to much else.

The Way is compounded by sayings like:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
– John 14:6, New International Bible

Jesus was not referring to himself personally but in the cosmic sense, as the son of God. But if we have lost the experience or understanding, it’s natural to make this personal and literal.

I recall going to an interfaith event and the Anglican host referred to Jesus as the only way. I don’t think he realized what a faux pas it was in the circumstances. It was how he normally talked about it. A habitual religious bigotry.

When I was younger, if you met someone from a different lineage, they often viewed you with suspicion or would try to convert you. The Internet and rising awareness has softened those divisions, but resistance can remain. Other perspectives can seem like a threat when our beliefs are part of our identity.

The challenge for many spiritual teachers is taking students beyond concepts.

“It has been the misfortune of every teacher that, while he speaks from his level of consciousness, his followers can only receive his message on their level; and the gulf between the teaching and understanding grows wider with time.”
– Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Preface to his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.

Certainly, some awaken from the darshan of a teacher’s presence. But that doesn’t lead to widespread shifts, nor a sustained approach that will outlast the teacher.

More rare among spiritual teachers is not just the enlightened vision but also a knowing of the means to help others awaken. You’ll know such teachers because there will be awake people around them.

Maharishi wrote how a major proponent comes along periodically and supports many people into enlightenment. After 3-400 years, the core understanding of the means gets lost and people stop becoming enlightened. It devolves into religion, beliefs, and then dogma. This has happened repeatedly, East and West.

Ultimately, all paths lead to the same place. All pure faiths point to the same Divinity, expressing in many forms.

This is literally true. I have met beings described in the traditions of India, Persia, First Nations, China, and the Mediterranean. They stand together, all as expressions of the One.
Davidya

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25 Responses to Many Paths Home

  1. Sarah says:

    “We’re designed to be distinctive variations on a theme.” Hell yeah! 🙂

  2. Hi David,

    Many Paths Home, and yet, Home, is never reached as a final destination, not really, I mean, self-realization, god-consciousness, cosmic-consciousness, infinite being, on and on, each stop, along the way (and the way/path), is Home, like layers/levels under an electron microscope,-never-arriving. And all the while, as though, paradoxically, always Home,-what a wonder!

    *

    John 14:2 — King James Version

    In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Lewis
      On the one hand, there is no “final destination” but this doesn’t mean home is not reached.
      .
      One way to think of it is at first when we arrive home, we’re on the front porch. Then we’re in the entry. Then over time, home comes to include the living room, the kitchen, the basement, and the bedrooms.
      .
      But yes, always already home.
      .
      The Fathers mansions I’ve taken to be the lokas.

  3. Bill says:

    This is such an important awareness and Yoga. For many of we older folks, we grew up with the initial group of teachers who came here from China, Japan, S. Korea, Tibet and India, being the most notable. We “locked into “Buddhism or Hinduism sects that seemed to compete with each other. We felt exactly as you describe, my Guru, Roshi, etc. is the way and my sect is the way to gain enlightenment.

    Then form there it began to change as westerners were given authority to teach and some of them began to expand the teaching to be more western, thereby creating a “schism” between the traditional and the new. It just went on and on. For those who were fortunate, at a point they they realized that many paths to the top and were “freed” from being stuck in one specific “truth!” That opening led to just the discussion you are presenting. It became for many of us, a deepening shift in the truth.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Bill
      Yes, that’s also a characteristic of someone new to a path who may feel they’ve found The Way. Perhaps my perspective is a little Boomer-ish.
      .
      Ideally, we do mature and recognize the broader picture and what best supports our own journey. Sometimes, that is a blend because the West isn’t like the East in some ways.
      .
      I know many who have woken, partly because of relaxing those constraints and then getting exposed to resonant awake teachers.
      .
      Lorn & Lucia have been an example here. In the same tradition but not recognized by the group they originated with. And yet they’re helping to fulfill the goal of that line by catalyzing awakening.
      .
      I quite enjoyed Goldberg’s book “American Veda” talking about those times and the major proponents.

  4. Neville Stimpson says:

    Hi David

    My name is Neville, I learnt TM in 1984 when I was twenty one, TM and MMY have been a backbone for my understanding and growth ever since (on and off TBH).
    I’ve been following you for a couple of years now ever since I cam across your interview with Rick Archer in Buddha at the Gas Pump. Your one of the very few genuine voices out there speaking on spiritual matters.
    Thank you very much for the energy and effort that you have put into your website, blog, videos and book. They have been of great education to me.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Neville
      Thanks. It’s good to know that there are many of us but only a few are called to speak or write about it. I’m a little surprised that showed up here.
      .
      And you’re very welcome. It’s been an education here also, sometimes pushing the edges of my comfort zone. (laughs)

  5. oskari says:

    Thank you. Beautiful points and framing, David.
    .
    For most part, the path here was not around any particular tradition (in a sense of practice, etc) or seeking consciously for something. In hindsight, I recognise the path until the first surrendering was largely oskari following the calling where it was strongest. While there often was clarity on the calling it was not easy and at times controversial. That’s how, I guess, particular and needed experiences, lessons, suffering and some more suffering came about. No wonder then that earlier I was pretty convinced The Way home was through a great deal of struggling and suffering 🙂
    .
    Since then, however, I’ve come to see suffering increasingly with gratitude and as a blessing. I feel its given insight and, with increased healing and clearance, freedom to be intimate with others’ suffering in different helping professions and otherwise. I guess that’s the theme here 🙂
    .
    I remember with the first heart opening and God entering the scene, there was an experience of overwhelming devotion. Having grown up in a Christian culture that was my main framework and reference point. I was very strongly drawn to worship God so church (something I had not really done before) was a natural choice. For some time, I attended services, did bible and some other courses and what not – only to find a more membership based, stale and dogmatic gathering with many niceties but with little kindness, openness or love.
    .
    The experiences that I was seeking to understand, I felt, were not accepted and the whole thing became quickly uncomfortable, at times even painful and hurtful. Despite recognising all this, I continued going as that’s where the calling still clearly was (and I’ve clearly never been a quick learner anyway…).
    .
    The engagement turned more into an inner contemplation. I started recognising how all the discomfort, pain and tension seemingly caused by the church and their ‘closed mindedness’ was actually unresolved and incomplete ‘stuff’ and attachments being triggered in me – and which life was merely helping to bring forth for healing.
    .
    A lot of ego stuff (i.e. around ‘my experience’ etc; and if it is not accepted – it equaled ‘me’ not being accepted, etc) came to light that was linked with unresolved loss, abandonment etc issues and what not.
    .
    Long story short, it was not easy or pretty for a while and I would certainly not recommend it to anyone 🙂 but the lessons appear to come and areas for healing pointed at when Life’s guidance is listened to and trusted. That’s been the path and experience here. Blessings 🙂

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Oskari
      Thanks for sharing a good example. I would say that it’s not that suffering is necessary but it is a good way of learning how we’re rigidly pushing against our own best interests. Suffering can help soften that and allow us to shift.
      .
      And yes, gratitude is such a balm. Acceptance allows the healing of those experiences so we can move on.
      .
      Here, there was a coming back to a tradition I’ve been in for several lives but this time not “fitting in” so I could grow past my baggage.
      .
      And yes, here also a devotional phase then but the object came in the form of a person, to my surprise.
      .
      Excellent seeing. When we see the actual source of our experiences in ourselves, then we can heal much more deeply.
      .
      (laughs) yes, a slow learner here also. And yes, when the challenges are great, the learning can be deep, and the progress fast.
      .
      Suffering remains optional but that doesn’t mean easy.
      Blessings!

      • oskari says:

        Thanks. Indeed suffering is optional yet not always recognised as that. In any case, its a pretty effective teacher especially for the slow ones 🙂
        .
        That’s an interesting experience re devotion 🙂 I find that later on life itself becomes an act of Devotion including re the personal which along with everything else is recognised as Divinity. But with a whole different meaning to the word devotion.
        .
        I recognise that there have been long standing ‘themes’ in my life (incl prior to this lifetime) that have come to be resolved or reached completion in this life. Not all have been experienced as ‘baggage’ as such though some prominent ones have and often with a feel of something having outlived its usefulness, time to move on, sometimes a big lesson or a deeper driver being revealed, healed.
        .
        On some level, the whole thing is like themes within themes within themes… 🙂 Thank you!

        • Davidya says:

          Hi Oskari
          Agreed. I found the heart was spilling over with universal love and it wanted an object to flow to. It’s common that take the form of God, guru or upaguru (ones mate) but at the time I wasn’t in a relationship and was still ambivalent about appearances. I ended up flowing to a good friend who was very resonant.
          .
          I later did develop a relationship with a personal form of God until the Brahman shift.
          .
          And yes, agreed. Life itself is a devotion as it’s all flowing from source and back to source. I recall when Lorn first spoke of “perpetual surrender” – I was taken aback. I’d managed to surrender briefly a few times then. But perpetually!?! (laughs)
          .
          Yes, completions can come in many forms. Getting the PhD, for example, had some ancestral baggage but was also fulfilling several lines of life.
          .
          And yes, then life can shift and move on, that theme complete. Yes, themes within themes. We’re not separate people so threads connect all over to others and we have shared themes…
          .
          I was speaking with friends yesterday, surprised by what has fallen away and what not. 🙂

  6. Guru says:

    Namaste Happy Guru Purnima Day. Gratitude for your unconditional support.

    • Davidya says:

      Happy Guru Purnima!
      Purna means fullness. Purnima means full moon. The first full moon after the summer solstice (the longest day) offers the brightest full moon of the year.
      .
      Gu-ru means remover of darkness. The brightest light is the guru, so the brightest full moon is celebrated as the day of the guru each year, Guru Purnima.
      .
      A Guru Puja done on the day is considered the most potent. Here’s an example, similar to the one i learned, from the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math tradition (from which TM is derived).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMj_asBAiKA

    • Davidya says:

      You can also celebrate simply by giving thanks to anyone who has removed darkness for you.
      .
      Jai Guru Dev!

  7. Bernie says:

    Happy Guru Purnima, Davidya! Jai Guru Dev!

  8. Sanjay says:

    Thanks for all your support and sharing your insights, David! Hope you and everyone were able to celebrate Guru Purnima.

    • Davidya says:

      Thanks, Sanjay. Yes. Because the full moon was overnight, there was celebrations both days. I did puja, people sent me pujas like the above link, we did a spontaneous group puja with the awake online, and so forth.

  9. Sanjay says:

    Awesome David! It is great that quite a number of people were able to participate in the puja.

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