Spirituality * Culture * Self-Expression

Month: August 2013





When I look through my Facebook homepage and see all the funny, smart status updates my friends make, I sometimes feel a bit intimidated. I can’t come up with this great stuff on a daily basis. All I can do is share statuses and maybe make a brief comment or two. Sometimes I’ll post a quotation or something; I just can’t find all that personal info to share. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to mention that I’m going out for sushi or I’m rolling up quarters to take to the bank. I guess I’m very limited on
Facebook and the other social media sites I frequent. I put out whatever personal stuff I feel on these blog posts and on my website – perhaps especially in books I write.

That’s just the Path I’m on.

the path

Most people have heard about this concept of a Path through life. It is often mentioned that there are 3 aspects to it: find the Path, know the Path and walk the Path. Less frequently, you might hear about other aspects of the Path: first you come to understand that a Path actually exists; then you seek out different Paths until you find the one that resonates with you; then you learn about and explore the Path – get to know it; then you walk the Path and make the journey part of your life; and eventually, after rigorous effort, you BECOME the PATH and others follow your footsteps.

lonely road

I suppose the Path I’m on is kind of unique – at least I’m not familiar with many people on it. I’ve certainly had many, many teachers – what I call teachers of the moment – but there is no one that has carved out a full Path for me to follow. I seem to exist in something like a tropical rainforest or jungle.


I suspect that others have gone before me; that somewhere in this primordial forest there might be a lost city or some ancient temple or at least a road leading out of the roughage. But if such a thing still remains it appears to be long covered over with vegetation. It seems that I am tramping through the vast underbrush alone; hacking away at the rough country like a machete; revealing, slowly, some sort of long forgotten trail that might have been used in ancient days.

machete knife

Like a machete I open up a narrow road that can be travelled by some intrepid souls. Alone, I carve out this unique Path, unconcerned about who might follow me, seeking always for the way out of the jungle and moving to what I hope is the open field of Enlightenment.


Perhaps some will follow me now. And perhaps it will not be till many years after I am gone that some will find the walkway made with this machete and use it to travel out of the dark, overgrown jungle and into the Light at the edge of the forest and beyond.

The machete does not make a smooth and clean road way. Other tools and temperaments are needed to pave the ground and build up the rest stops needed by weary travellers – to clear away the debris of obstacles and impediments to the journey. Other tools are needed to supply markers and maps and guideposts for those seekers of spiritual adventure. The machete hacks out only the roughest of paths, a trail for those who long for the Light but are not afraid to venture through dark and lonely terrain.

leave a trail

It’s fun to post pithy status updates on Facebook and connect with people in a jovial, whimsical manner and a machete does have a razor sharp edge that can be used sometimes for the subtle dissection of reality. But mostly it is a tool that hacks and chops at the wild, unwanted weeds and foliage and leaves just enough of a walkway for those explorers desperate enough to brave passage through an untamed landscape.






The Donkey in the Well – A Fable


One day a tired, old donkey was strolling around his farm. His only concern was his tired old bones and his stiff muscles. He wasn’t paying much attention to where he was going when he suddenly stumbled and fell down into a dried up well.

The animal was terrified and began to bray and cry pitifully. The old farmer, hearing the poor donkey cry, rushed to see what the matter was. He looked down the old well and saw the poor beast, helplessly crying way down at the bottom. The farmer tried to think of some way to get the donkey out of the well, but he was old and weak himself and just could not do it. The donkey, of course, could offer no suggestions. All he could do was bray and plead for help.  After a few hours, the farmer regretfully came to a decision. He decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to save the poor, old donkey.DonkeyInTheWell

He got a shovel and started throwing dirt down into the well intending to just fill it up and bury the donkey at the same time.

The donkey began to cry even louder. But the old farmer shut his ears to the sound and continued shoveling dirt into the well.

After a while, some neighbors came by to see what was happening. The farmer explained the situation and the neighbors decided to help. They didn’t try to help get the donkey out of the well; they decided instead to help bury the poor beast and stop its pitiful wailing. The neighbors each got shovels and joined the farmer in throwing dirt into the well.Donkey3

The poor donkey, realizing what was being done, began to cry even more. But the people convinced of their righteousness, shut their ears to the donkey’s cries and continued to heap dirt upon him.

And then something changed.

To everyone’s amazement, the poor old donkey quieted down. Some people, if they thought about it at all, thought that the donkey had just resigned himself to his fate and was preparing to die. But this was not the case. Something far more meaningful was happening in that well.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well, perhaps expecting the donkey to be covered with dirt. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel ­full of earth that hit the donkey’s back, the donkey was doing something amazing.

It looked kind of like a dance. The donkey would shake the dirt off his back and take a little step up onto it. With each shovel full of dirt that fell, the donkey would give a little shake and then step up onto the dirt that hit the ground.

Pretty soon the dirt was actually filling up the well and not covering the donkey.



And then, to everyone’s amazement, there was enough dirt in the well for the donkey to climb up over the edge, and trot away as fast as his tired old bones could take him.


What is the moral of this story?

If you come up with a right answer, a switch might just go off in your soul and enlighten you.

A donkey on a hill in the Assekrem mountains Algerian desert



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