The dialogue started with my friend Sasha continues: I ask him questions about his path. He tells me that the path he is following (the Buddhist path) is 3-fold: the goal: "a state of permanent joy in experiencing the world the way it is", the way: "skillful meditations and other methods that allow us to reach the goal", the structure: "the whole body of teachings, vast and profound". He says: "believe me, life is getting happier and more joyful with each passing day - even when I refuse to believe it." He says that I might want to check out the Diamond Way Buddhist Center in San Francisco.
Hmm... the "spiritual path"... It sounds appealing, but what does it really mean for me? I can hardly picture myself meditating every day... How long will it take to get there, even if I start practicing meditation now? 7 years, 12 years? What he says is exciting, but the task of "spiritual growth" seems daunting, somehow reserved to an elite of people with out-of-this-world strong will power...
Also, I feel that I cannot wait that long! My restlessness is reaching an all-time high, and I decide to throw all my pressing existential questions on a carefully crafted email that I send him, hoping to get an answer:
"Tell me what really matters to you
Tell me what you consider important
Tell me if there is a goal besides experiencing the joy in experiencing the world the way it is - or if this IS the goal
Tell me if there is an "evolutionary" goal (bringing the Universe to some place it IS NOT yet - did you catch a glimpse of where?) and if you know what the role of Humanity in this evolutionary goal is - and what your role is
Tell me if I should look for my role in this goal (looks like your answer might be no there isn't any, or it is not our prerogative to take any role in this)
Then tell me what use you (will) do of the energy of the Universe that you are generating/holding
Tell me what the humanistic perspective of the teachings is
Tell me what the infinite potential you are talking about is
And how does it unfold through you?
And how does it unfold through me?
And how does it unfold through Humanity?
I quite agree that difficulties, confusion, mal de vivre etc are an energy booster, that they are my friends, and I welcome them as such (see, it makes me reach out and push doors open!). I accept it all, I accept all that has befallen to me since I was born - my family, my experiences, my health, my finiteness, my petty achievements, etc. I see I am a tiny part of the big Whole, and that you are me and I am you because there is only one thing.
I want to know what to DO with all this, all this endowment + past path of mine, what the piece of the Universe that I am is supposed to bring back to the Whole. I suppose with peace of mind and more rigorous learning I will find out. I was curious to know if you have. I will be restless until I do. It is very GOOD to hear about your path.
Thank you so much for sharing with me. I am looking forward to following the joyful path of learning and finding things out!
I will first read Lama Ole’s book and then go to the Diamond Way center in San Francisco. I am also starting to explore yoga more seriously (encountered Sivananda yoga, a quite "holistic" school of yoga, if you've heard of it, at the very least the breathing and asanas are doing wonders with my marathon training!)
At least I am on the move again, I can feel the trailhead is near...!"