I’ve been reading Joy Harjo’s Poet Warrior.* I find it very grounding to feel her words. She speaks about following her path, regardless of external obstacles or rewards, and listening to her teachers.
Referring to herself as Poet Warrior, she says (p. 163):
“...Poet Warrior began to forget who she was in the clutter
Of the multi-corporate glut.
To remind her, they brought her teachers.”
That clutter is one of my main distractions. I’m guessing it’s one of yours, too. Daily life requires so much attention to earthly concerns that we get in the habit of placing our attention there and forget where our attention belongs. It’s not just that I want to put my attention on my spiritual life, which I do, it’s that holding my attention on the plane of the ego is so draining. I am exhausted after a day of working, meetings, or errands. I am energized by a day of meditation, writing, or walking in Nature.
During the current construction project in my home space, I have lost track of the rhythm that feeds my spiritual path. In order to get back on track, I have lists and calendars and little note-prompts all over. But in the end, I need to practice being in the energy space that feeds me spiritually. That’s why it’s called spiritual practice—because we have to do it again and again and again in order to learn and make it a habit.
A dog in the wild turns and turns, moving the grass into a circled nest, before laying down to sleep, before stepping into the dreamworld. We need to be making our own energy circle to support a spiritual life.
Spiritual practice is not something I do alone. When I am in true spiritual space, I have the guidance and support of the Teachers. These elders have the wisdom of the long view, outside of time. Harjo speaks about the importance of this (p. 52-54):
“In the short-root mind, a kind of mind of people whose children don’t even know the names of their great-grandparents, there is no past. Everything is right now. This kind of mind has its roots in material culture, in what can be accumulated. My great-grandfather reminds me that we need to keep within the long-rooted mind. Because of the longer roots we have a larger structure of knowing from which to take on understanding.”
I’m so glad that you are reading this blog and harvesting what you need from it. And I can not stress enough how important it is, especially in these times of drastic change, that everyone reach out and reach in, to find their long roots, their Teachers, and listen.
*W.W. Norton and Company, 2021.