Walking Yourself into the Promised Land

Posted on September 2, 2010

The Israelites showed us how it’s done. 40 years in the desert with nothing but their faith to support them – my God that was no picnic!

Picture them, the whole tribe walking along. Up ahead the courageous ones, the explorers, ready to conquer the scary unknown. Then the whole mass of the people, the old ones, women and children. And at the end the stragglers, the weak and the sick.

That’s how we move toward enlightenment, all of us. We’re a whole crowd, every one of us, all the different parts moving as fast as we can into the light.

Look, there is your courage and strength moving ahead and there is also your weakness, your pain, your arrogance, blindness and shame, lagging behind. These are the parts of you slowed down by the five poisons (or kleshas), confusion, anger, desire, pride and envy.

So now picture yourself as Moses. You’re in charge to get the whole convoy of yourself moving along. Where do you put your attention? It’s fun to deal with the fearless explorers and with the crowd in the middle that knows to party every night when you make camp.

But as the best of leaders, I bet you’ll pay special attention to the stragglers, won’t you? Because you know that the whole of you can only move as fast as they move.

There is no point in giving them pet talks. They are already moving as fast as they can. Better to relieve them of some of their burdens, purify them of those poisons. They are bogged down by stressful emotions and thoughts that are giving them pain. Have patience; show them compassion. Be kind to yourself and clear and determined in your spiritual work.

Show them, one by one, how they can put down their burdens. Make that your main focus and the whole procession of you will speed up. You will move along in a unified way, everyone will feel better and you’ll get to the promised land right on time!

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