Thursday, August 18, 2011

loneliness in spiritual endeavor

Spiritual endeavor carries with it a series of doubts and fears for anyone who is serious. Among them is the fear of loneliness -- of losing friends, of losing touch, of finding yourself hung out to dry in some arid, if pristine, realm.

Little or large, experienced or inexperienced, I don't think it's a good idea to resort to cooing sweet talk about such a fear. Somewhere I read that Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (a Zen teacher) once complained to his friend Trungpa Rinpoche (Tibetan) about the loneliness of his endeavor. Both men were recognized as bright lights in their respective spiritual firmaments, so I think a 'beginner' might be excused for feeling a similar dread.

Not that it's a solace or a solution, but I found myself writing yesterday:

Strange to think how many people fear the loneliness of spiritual endeavor without bothering to recognize how lonely they already are.

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