Posted by: Monkey | March 3, 2013

There is No Right Way

buddhistBoth my parents are devout Buddhists of the Tibetan Mahayana tradition, even though they came from Christian backgrounds they were dissatisfied with that faith and in their lives explored their options both independently coming to Buddhism. My father is from France and my mother from Australia, they met for the first time in India while on their Buddhist journey.
I was introduced to meditation by my father from a young age, maybe 5 or 6 years old. I remember sitting by him in his meditation room counting my prayers on a mala bead. That didn’t last too long because as a young boy sitting still was the last thing I was wanting!

Despite being raised with this background, despite going to a large number of Buddhist talks, seminars and retreats the whole Buddhism thing never really resonated deep within my being. I never felt it was wrong in any way and even though many of the philosophies I grew up with still stick with me the practice itself was never very appealing.

I was still curious though, and have been intensely introspective and somewhat self-aware (which has been a difficult thing at times) for as long as I can remember. In the years that have passed I have looked at and tried many different approaches, some of which could be considered spiritual, some of which would fall under the blanket of self-development, some of which might be called healing. Regardless of what we call it, to me anything that has us reflecting more upon ourselves, seeking a deeper awareness of ourselves and how we fit into this strange thing we call life, exploring how we can continuously be a better version of ourselves… all of that is spiritual.

carlosI don’t remember how old I was, it was sometime in my teens, when I first encountered the works of Carlos Castaneda and I was blown away and that sense of their being something greater than myself of which I am a part of, expanded. In the time that intervened I have read many other books, met with a number of guru’s or spiritual teachers, explored different approahces and always I have found myself taking something on fully almost to the point of obsession for a short while and then dropping almost all of it, except what I saw to be the core or the most useful aspects of that particular ‘style’ of self-practice (sadly this process of mine has been found to be frustrating and lost me a couple of intimate relationships that I was extremely fond of).

I have thought and said for a long time, as far back as when I was a teenager, that if there is a truth then surely every path out there must hold some element of that truth.

I find myself now, in my early 30’s, spontaneously creating my own practices, my own meditations, my own unique way of keeping discipline in my life, of moving forward at a pace that works for me.
I have seen a lot out there, particularly in the areas of self-development and goal setting yet also in spiritual paths too, thself nurtureat set up all these strict rules and have us follow some specific and rigorous set of patterns and practices to set positive habits or develop our psychic potentials or some such and such. And I have discovered that I prefer to be gentle with myself, that my nature is free-flowing and guided by my emotions and energy levels. That any time I make plans to stick to some practice, or set deadlines or requirements for myself… that I then find myself burnt out, frustrated and feeling guilty because I inevitably fail. Well I fail in that I am unable to live up to my grand aspirations; I never really fail though because like the phoenix every experience is a transformative experience to me.

So I much prefer working with a gentle self-awareness; of knowing what it is I want to work on and being clear on why I want to work on these things and then… letting it unfold naturally at a pace that my psyche is able to comfortably enjoy. Every day I am doing something for myself and as a result I am being more of who I wish to be. I am being me.

mountain pathsMy point within this ramble is that I think there is no right way, there is only our way. There is no ideal practice; there is no perfect approach to setting goals, to developing ourselves. Anything that leads to greater self-love, self-acceptance and a deepening of the joy and composure in our lives is the right direction, whatever that may be.

We don’t have to be anyone but us.

We are our own guru’s and anyone who is truly here to assist us in expanding our awareness of this unfolding experience of existence… will only be around long enough to show us that we already know what we need and how to get there, even when we think we don’t.

Our experience is valid as it is because it is.
Our journey is our journey is the right journey for us.

We have always had permission to be ourselves.






  1. This was a joy to read. Thank you.

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