Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

To Be On A Spiritual Path

--by Jan Phillips (Mar 03, 2014)

"To be on a spiritual path means to live mindfully, paying attention to the signs along the road and being conscious of our body — the vehicle we are traveling in — and of the needs and safety of others on the journey.

"To be on a spiritual path means to look inward as often as outward, knowing that the externals of our lives are reflections of our thoughts and words, manifestations of that which we are imagining and energizing into being with the fuel of our passion.

"To be on a spiritual path means to use the rearview mirror to be sure that the path behind is clear of debris and that we do not obstruct another's journey with clutter of our own. It means making peace with our past, knowing our future contains it, and summoning the courage it takes to acknowledge, forgive, and release whatever we have clung to that impedes our movement.

"To be on a spiritual path is to take responsibility for creating our own creed, based on our commitments, and to respect the rights of others to do the same. It also means to reflect anew on what beliefs we've inherited to be sure they are compatible with our wisdom and compassion.

"To be on a spiritual path is to embrace the mystical paradox that while we are singular, physical beings on this journey, we are also profoundly connected to one another, animated and sustained by the same vast Spirit that abides in the star, the petal of an iris, the howl of the wolf. […]

"To be on a spiritual path, it is necessary to forgive yourself for wrong turns, for failing to yield, for driving under the influence of others. These are minor and forgivable infractions. The more important rules of this road are to be attentive, to notice when you stray, and to get back on the path as soon as possible.

"We could all use a road map for the journey inward, a guide away from the crowded thoroughfare to the quiet path of our own true calling; a reminder that it is not the destination, but the journey, that is important. The fourteenth-century Italian saint Catherine of Siena once wrote, 'All the way to heaven is heaven.' Perhaps this is roadmap enough — this one stark line enough to keep us walking, reminding us that the wind we feel on the back of our necks is nothing less than the breath of God.

- Jan Phillips, from "Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path: A Road Map to Joy and Rejuvenation"

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Previous Reflections:

On Feb 28, 2014 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

 Being on a spiritual path means to me being on the path I think is right for me at this time. A spiritual path can be my secular living. Secular spirituality seems to be my type of spirituality.A personal story when that wind touched the back of my neck felt greatly special was when I first decided to take an introductory course in meditation at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor Michigan. Before the course, I sat on the floor of my bedroom as though I knew how to meditate, and tears of joy came to my eyes. After over 20 years of meditating, I doubt that I meditate any better now than then. I notice I develop and grow when every moment, regardless of what I am doing, is mindful. Mindfulness and meditation are one as I and the universe are one. .I do not know how to develop the ability to see what is special in every experience except to say I develop more when I notice what I'm noticing as I'm noticing. When I notice "what is" and I accept it peacefully I am more peacefully patient. I more frequently grow and and become more peaceful when I know that I do not know. There are many ways to the way. As Lao Tzu said, "The way they can be said is not the way.Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Warm and kind regards to everyone

On Mar 1, 2014 david doane wrote:

 For me, there is not much to add to what the author says about being on the spiritual path.  I appreciate the road map and guidelines that Jan Phillips offers.  For me, the spiritual path definitely means finding, allowing, and trusting one's own truth rather than accepting someone's else's truth.  In hindsight, I think the 'wind' for me was the hand of a friend who asked me if I would like to be part of a group about spirituality that has contributed much over the years to my opening up and developing my spiritual path and awareness.  That hand was more greatly special than I ever anticipated.  I never thought of that hand as the hand of God before, but I guess it was, since we are each and all expressions and manifestations of that Infinite Force that we call God.  I develop the ability to see what's special in every experience by learning that every experience is special, unique, and sacred, and it's for me to find and allow the sacredness that is present. 

On Mar 1, 2014 Always Love wrote:

Now this, is beautiful!  Just as you are, no artificial additives . . . Blooming where you are . . . Rooted . . . Everyday changing . . . So stay the same, would be to die to Christ (as He is eternally "new").  Praise be to God from Whom our growth flows.  

On Mar 3, 2014 Sydney wrote:

This is amazing!! So well written.

On Mar 4, 2014 Sumanta wrote:

spiritual means the sacred point around which our inner potencies are moving around that. the purpose of this life is only to heal the same and get liberalised 

On Mar 4, 2014 Mish wrote:

 Wow!  Brilliant piece of writing!  Just so brilliant!!!  
To me, one word is being on the spiritual path..... L O V thought, word & deed.....always/often.
so appreciate this piece of writing .  Thank you.  Will share it.

On Mar 4, 2014 Daisy wrote:

This is not just about a Muslim boy proving that Islam is a peaceful religion. It is about the human spirit that goes beyond faith and religion and accepts the human being for the need to do good. There is a chain of events that happens in every story. A good motive at the heart of the story has a chain of events that lead to a good outcome. Simple mind set that understands that every human being can connect with you because they are all seeking the same thing. Wanting to do something worthwhile for someone else!

On Mar 4, 2014 Alison Strickland wrote:

 Right now being on a spiritual path means reading and appreciating these open hearted soulful responses. They stand in stark contrast to the toxic hateful comments I've stumbled upon on the internet where people seem to find pleasure in attacking others beliefs. When I read a political article, I rarely go near the comments because it's certain that poisonous responses will follow. It's so satisfying find a site where hearts and minds stay open. And yes, Jan Phillips is a wonderful writer. Check out her other books. They're equally amazing.

On Mar 4, 2014 Sona wrote:

Beautiful post. Thank you.
To me, being on a spiritual path is to be happy at all times:)
We can be happy at all times only when we are one with everyone and everything. 

On Mar 4, 2014 Troy best wrote:

 Seeing the perfection in every moment ,and being grateful   

On Mar 4, 2014 a wrote:

 I love this!  All I can picture, in your comment, is the order of God's solar system.  The movement and change of the stars.  The vastness of the heavens.  
You are right on in your spirituality . . . "getting liberalized".  God is so beyond us, He brings me to tears of awe.
Love to my brother.  

On Mar 4, 2014 Nicole Alexander wrote:

 For me at the moment being on a spiritual path means seeing others as mirrors and everything as an opportunity to learn and open. This is a stark contrast to blaming and feeling victimized which was my old pattern. The old pattern still creeps in every now and again, especially with those I am close to so I keep being gentle with myself and choosing to open.

On Mar 4, 2014 Conrad P. Pritscher wrote:

 A,   Thanks for your kind words.
 Lots of love.

On Mar 4, 2014 J wrote:

 Back at you!  


On Mar 4, 2014 SKD wrote:

"It is a lesson we all need-to let alone the things that do not concern us.  He has OTHER WAYS for OTHERS to follow Him; all DO NOT go by the SAME PATH.  It is for each of us to learn the path by which He requires us to follow Him, and then TO FOLLOW HiM in that path."  
Saint Katherine Drexel 
 Catholic Digest's Quiet Moment from yesterday.  Amen Saint Katherine!  Please pray for us.

On Mar 4, 2014 Prakash Narasimhaiya wrote:

 For me Spiritual path is ......" Do good to everyone. if not,  keep silent. Don't do bad to anyone.  All for good,  bad for nothing.   Disparity and Dispassion are the two ways for simple and spiritual life."

On Mar 4, 2014 Rekha wrote:

I feel that to be able to see what's special in every experience, one needs to remove oneself as the doer and see the event as an amazing synchrony of cause and effect, as well as the Act of the Spirit which animates and sustains us. Every time I am able to detach myself,  neither feeling proud of myself for good things or cursing myself for the bad,  I feel like an unnecessary burden has been lifted off my system. I feel liberated in the moment. I also feel that to see a clutter free path in the rear view mirror, we can start acting today, because the past is gone and all you can do about it is forget and forgive as well learn the required lessons and apply them to today's actions.A sangha, such as this, is surely a helpful place to deepen any spiritual practice.

On Mar 5, 2014 Hillary Tran wrote:

 To me, to be on a spiritual path is to consciously and continuously shed and let go of what is not our true identity. We have created for ourselves so many hats to wear, so many identities, most of them practical, but limited and 3D :-)

The day we come around and remember, really remember, our true identity__each of us a spark of Divine light__we'll realize that there is nothing out there to gain, to acquire, to accumulate, or to achieve, both materially and spiritually.

All that is left for us to do after that day of "remembering" is to consciously and continuously shed and let go of all the layers of conditioning we have believed and acquired, and have been holding on as part of our identity, for many many incarnations.

Until all that remains is pure Light! :-)

On Mar 5, 2014 Hillary Tran wrote:

 yes, simple, wonderful.
all we need is a shift in perspective, and remembering of our soul's agenda and purpose.
all is perfect, as everything is but a reminder, a signpost to guide us back Home.

On Mar 5, 2014 Conrad P. Pritscher wrote:

 Beautiful Hilary. Thanks, 

On Mar 5, 2014 Hillary Tran wrote:

 yes, to be spiritual is to be one with everyone and everything:-)
(for me, science makes this real with the quantum theory and holograhic universe concept :-D)
that state will bring us bliss!!!

On Mar 5, 2014 Mish wrote:

 Enjoyed your share.  Beautifully expressed. Namaste _/\_

On Mar 5, 2014 Harsh wrote:

 Wow. I am still thinking about the line. "It is looking in the rear view mirror that we haven't left any clutter behind, any obstruction for someone else. To leave the past behind and be sure that it will be there in future." This translates for me to surrender, awareness, being in the present, compassion, love.

On Mar 6, 2014 Hillary Tran wrote:

 Thank you, Mish. Namaste :-)

On Mar 6, 2014 AJ wrote:

 With religion and politics, I think it would be fair to say, it is never right to offer a personal opinion with an air of 100% righteousness.  The more anyone/any faith "tries" claim this (perfection in way), the more foolish one appears.  
Where two or more are gathered, there will be two or more different interpretations/takes/thoughts . . . "ways".  
We all see from a different "place" . . . And that's OK. 

On Mar 7, 2014 Mish wrote:

 Agree with you ....many paths.....tolerance.

On Mar 7, 2014 Alison Strickland wrote:

Yes, yes—it's OK to see things from a different place. I'd love to live in a world where that was the norm. I'm puzzled about what to do with the far right wing who can't and seem to delight in making anyone who thinks differently WRONG, or worse unpatriotic. Sad to say, some are in my family. They didn't used to be that way. I suspect right wing talk radio and Fox News as prime cause. There's no tolerance there. The last time I tried to express my perspective as only the way it seemed to me, I was told "Your are delusional." When I suggested to this person that they check out PBS's New Hour and NPR's news shows, the answer was "They're communists." Hard to think all that's OK.

On Mar 7, 2014 Mish wrote:

 I too have difficulty with the "far right" judgemental stance, but "fanatics" are on the "left" as well (altho I can get less upset with them :)). I calm myself by knowing they are where they are in their evolvement & all I can do Is shine Light on them & try not to get"reactive".  So, I try to use it as a spiritual practice for myself.  _/\_

On Mar 7, 2014 Alison Strickland wrote:

 You are is a spiritual exercise trying to keep such beings in the light. Can't think of anything better to do about it.

On Mar 7, 2014 a wrote:

I look forward to that "pure light".  
Thank you!

On Mar 7, 2014 aj wrote:

 This line stood out for me too!  
This is why I try to love a lot (as love will cover what I drop).

On Mar 9, 2014 hillary wrote:

that pure light is right there, at the core of our being. we only need to consciously identify with it, to bring it out, methinks :-)

thank you for sharing your thought, a :-)

On Mar 9, 2014 Mish wrote:

 Agree...Light center...choose access, life flows beautifully . _/\_

On Mar 9, 2014 Grateful wrote:
Blessed be you,


On May 6, 2014 Marisa Harnadh wrote:
... at the break of a sweat
mid stream breaths of fire
the thumping of a s/heArt
flashing visions of sacred moments 
of HuMans beComing
ArcAngels and God-desses
A gape suspended in gasp
IS the deafening Silence
One-ness with no thing
withIN every thing
effervescent Stillness
of The Presence...
... that other's call

On May 6, 2014 Lfm wrote:

Thank You:)

On Jul 6, 2014 Heena wrote:

 To be on a spiritual path for me; is to notice the discomfort/ disease in any given situation,event, circumstance, person that i face. Sitting in stillness on the discomfort; noticing it in my body, mind and spirit;  being aware of the seperation that causes the discomfort/ disease.  Being willing to open up to the debris that emerge in the stillness; being with it as long as it stays and at times feel the " wind at the back of my neck "  when it lifts and clears the debris. Being grateful when that happens and asking for courage and humility to lift the debris . being aware and still to repeat the cycle when the next level of debris presents itself.

On Jul 7, 2014 Mish wrote:

 Beautifully expressed.  Same for me. 

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