October 07, 2009
The path of awakening is extremely well mapped, and it’s mapped in different ways by different traditions. At certain stages maps can be useful; they point out the way. But at other stages they can be a big hindrance, because we often get caught up in interpretation and judgment: “How far along am I?” “Am I there?” These thoughts simply strengthen the sense of self, while the whole path is about dissolving it. And particularly in our Western culture, which is so competitive and judgmental, instead of adding more fuel to the fire of self-judgment—”Oh, where am I? I’m not good enough”—we could see our entire spiritual journey as this wonderful flowering of understanding. We just keep going; we just keep watering the Bodhi tree of wisdom.
–Joseph Goldstein, from “How Amazing!” Tricycle, Summer 1999
Read the complete article.