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Transdual View
Thursday, March 11, 2004  

I went to a workshop and talk with Jungian analyst Michael Conforti today, and it reminded me of a core issue in my life right now.

When we have a calling, we are miserable if we don't follow it.

My calling is clearly a daily spiritual practice (Buddhism, Jes Bertelsen, with additions of Jung, Process Work, etc). When I lived it, in Norway through daily prayer and Tibetan practice, and in Utah living at Kanzeon Zen Center, I experienced enthusiasm, richness, compassion and a strong maturing process. I was in the process of becoming more fully human.

Leaving Kanzeon and Utah was a tremendeously difficult process. Every fiber in my body, and all my dreams, resisted it. Since leaving, in spite of many rewarding experiences and activities, I never felt an enthusiasm, passion and richness that is anywhere near that of the previous years of daily and focused spiritual practice. In spite of everything being "perfect" in an outward and superficial sense (very meaningful work, control of my own time, good relationship, and now beautiful house), I experience the torment that Conforti described as a symptom of not following one's calling.

I tried his recipe for finding one's calling: Look at the four most meaningful and memorable experiences in your life. When did you experience the most passion, enthusiasm and richness? For me, these all are connected to a spiritual life: 1. When I was a child, maybe about 5 years old, I was outside in the sunshine. I suddenly had a very strong memory of life before I was born. I remembered an overwhelming sense of Spirit, of communicating with and being in the same field as God. It was an immense sense of belonging, of being home. 2. Later, when I was 16 or 17 years old, I had a strong opening experience. I experienced Spirit or God in everything, throughout the universe, with no exceptions. Everything was Spirit, even that which we did not like as humans. 3. Living at Kanzeon, and in particular a meditation experience of my mind dropping the "center". The mind was a field with no center, expanding (or rather my experience of it expanded). 4. Relationships and conversations where I have experienced Spirit.

As long as I do not live my calling, it does not help to adjust the details of my life. They can make me more comfortable in the moment, but not relieve me of the torment of not living a fully spiritual life.

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