My spirit lives in my body, my mind and my emotions. This is how I choose to live in the world.
Recently, I revisited the movie “Peaceful Warrior” based on Dan Millman’s book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior”. In 1985 the book was given to me by a woman who walked into my picture framing shop in Ojai, California; putting the book down on the sales counter she said . . . “read this and when you are finished you will pass it on.” I did. The book became a metaphor for me; how I would choose teachers and move into the realms of metaphysical and physical truth . . . it was a foreshadowing for me of how I would choose to live in my physical body and in the realms of spirit – here and now.
I joined a group of people who meditated together and took spontaneous late night hikes into the mountains of Ojai and into the Mojave Desert. We bounced the moon, dissolved mountains, and I felt myself disappear. I experienced the sensation of more space between the molecules . . . I sensed myself beyond my thoughts and emotions . . . this was the magic. I understood levels of perception that were very seductive. I glimpsed into my non-physical realms and saw how I could live in expanded consciousness; however, I chose to leave the group after I began Reichian Therapy where I found internal expansions of emotional and physical expression. I found the sensations of inner wisdom emanating from my body.
Through this part of my awakening I continued to self medicate with alcohol; this was the way I would control my body’s reactions and responses to sensation and emotion. Then, unexpectedly, in September of 1988 I awoke at 2 am one morning to be sober. I stopped drinking any alcohol for the next 18 years. I was connecting with my body, sensing it and feeling, in some of the most uncomfortable ways. No longer hiding, I was in the deepest journey inward. I enrolled in the Hakomi Therapy training where I turned on my inner sense of awareness. Through practice of mindfulness I changed; within myself and in my relationships with others. I had made the choice to find clarity in my actions, thoughts and emotions. Later on I realized that it was the magic and the alcohol that numbed me from the pain that I felt in my separation from my personal truth. Suddenly, I was meeting myself for the first time; being revealed to myself.
Seeing the simplicity of Millman’s “Peaceful Warrior” reminded me of the truths that I discovered through the late 80’s into the 90’s. The journey into spirit can be complex, yet the practice of spirit is in everyday, it must be simple and most of all it is personal. For me the way into spirit is alchemical and unfixed; to be in my spirit is to be in a body that is strong and evolving, to choose teachers who serve my development in all four realms – physical, mental, emotional and in spirit, and to feel supported into self-guided revelation, clarity, insight and awareness. At the end of the movie Nick Nolte (Dan’s mentor “Socrates”), speaks in a voice-over while Dan is in a moment of stillness during a competition on the gymnastic rings:
“Dan, where are you?”
“What time is it?”
This is it for me . . . to be in a body of sensation and emotion . . . this is who I am in spirit . . . the here and now . . . in the practices of my body·mind·spirit . . . when I look, listen and I am patient from within to wait and know who I am.