November 11, 2010

One Size Doesn't Fit All in the Spiritual Journey

Reginald A. Ray, From Week 2 of his Tricycle Retreat "Touching Enlightenment,"

One of the important points to realize is that in the Buddhist tradition there is a big difference between the Buddhism that is taught in a very conventional way in Asia and the West, and the more esoteric traditions that are followed by yogis and yoginis practicing in forests, ravines, islands, on mountaintops, and in caves.  In conventional Asian traditions and also in the way in which meditation is often taught in the West, there is a default to what I would call "boiler plate" instructions, meaning that each tradition tends to have a particular way that you are supposed to meditate.  One problem with this is that each meditation practitioner is different and each person is different at different points in the journey.  This is why it's so very important to have a mentor to work with because the mentor can help guide you through the stages of meditation practice and can suggest techniques that address your exact situation.  So one of the problems with the boiler plate method is that "one size doesn't fit all" in the spiritual journey, far from it.

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