Today, is the new year's eve in the lunar calendar. Tomorrow, we will enter the Year of Monkey.
Tomorrow, is also when the "vows" of the pilgrimage will start to take effect. I am 3 weeks away from the "official" departure date, but would like to start getting serious about it, before it gets serious.
The past few weeks of "getting acclimated" internally have been quite juicy. Much inner stirring and churning. As one holds up a light, the shadows also get a lot starker. The imminent start of the pilgrimage is compressing the wiggle room between what I say and what I do -- between who I'd like to believe I am and who I actually am becoming by each micro-choice I make.
More than anything, getting ready for the pilgrimage has made me realize just how far I have yet to go :) I am going on this journey, not because I am "ahead" or "evolved", but because I "need to see the doctors", to cure the sicknesses that I have self-inflicted for lifetimes after lifetimes.
Below are some of the "shadows" I've been noticing these days, under the blinding light of vows and principles.
It keep checking the number of Facebook "Likes", WeChat click-throughs, etc. It craves outside validation, and struggles to face humility.
It wants creature comfort. It wants privacy. It wants to indulge in laziness.
Attachment to outcomes. If the number of "reads" are not high (by some mind-made arbitrary standard), is it worth my time to create those posts? What are my underlying intentions for sharing those writings? What type of heart/mind am I holding, as I "spread the message"?
Without a "day job" as my favorite alibi, I am tempted to use "preparing for the pilgrimage" as the new excuse for getting out of things I don't want to do or service I don't want to offer.
Just a partial list :)
But, throughout all of the inner-wrestling, the light keeps on shining brighter, because the noble friends around me would not "let me fail", because the teachers and practices have gifted me an "immune system" that kicks in automatically, because the heart knows that this is the real work -- no waiting for an official physical departure date. A deep spiritual operation will be messy. The deeper, the messier. All good signs. Vital signs.
Blessed to be walking with all on this path. Happy New Year. Indeed!
With a deep bow,
A pilgrimage around the globe by bicycle, in service of the ecological and spiritual awakening of our time.