I started on the spiritual path over 40 years ago, in my early 20’s. Like many people that age, I was going through a difficult time – struggling with roller coaster emotions, confusion , inner turmoil – and desperately wanted to find a way out of that suffering. At the same time, I also had an intense longing to know what was Real, to know ‘what I really am.’
During my 20’s, I was living in a spiritual community in British Columbia, which my husband, Bruce, and I had started with a small group of people. It was a monastic type of life – meditating intensely for many hours a day, as well as working the land and growing our own food. During those years, I had many life changing spiritual experiences. These experiences opened me to a deep knowing of what could be called the ‘primordial energy of life’ and were very profound and blissful. You could call them spiritual awakenings. But I found they came and went, as all experiences do.
For many years, I grasped onto those fleeting experiences, longing to have them back – thinking that they were my ticket to the inner peace I was so intensely searching for. There were some phases where I felt like giving up – just ‘throwing in the towel’ on the whole spiritual search – having been at it so long and still not finding the permanent peace I was looking for.
Then there came a point, in the last ten years or so, when I recognized that I was never going to find peace, ‘reality’ or enlightenment, the way I was going about it. I had been living under an assumption that something was missing in this moment – that what I was looking for was somewhere else. As it turns out, that way of living kept me on an incessant search. By continuously looking for something more, better or different, I was basically sidestepping the fulfillment and freedom that is actually already here.
When I realized that, my entire relationship to the ‘spiritual path’ began to turn around. I’d had an ongoing tendency to run away from or try to avoid any kind of uncomfortable emotions or difficulties. I’d always suspected, but didn’t want to admit to myself, that a lot of my spiritual search was based on wanting to find a way to circumvent discomfort and suffering. What I didn’t see is that my attempts to bypass or fight what was arising in my life were actually increasing my suffering, rather than diminishing it.
With the help of nondual teachers, such as Adyashanti and Peter Fenner, I began to open to the fullness of what was arising in each moment, rather than pushing it away or resisting it. I experienced that, along with the comings and goings of my busy mind and emotions, there is also a sense of presence and spaciousness – a fuller sense of ‘What I Am’. Resting as this spacious presence, none of my thoughts, emotions or life circumstances needed to change or be circumvented in order for me to feel whole and at peace.
After being an ardent spiritual seeker and meditator for so many years, it’s been life changing for me to come to know this place of effortless ease and serenity.
Fundamentally, it has opened a radically different way for me to meet life – and brought much fulfillment and contentment. So, naturally, it has now become my greatest joy and passion to share this way of relating to life with other people.
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