July 7, 2016

Do you have Spiritual Baggage?

Flickr/Elliot Stokes

When we come to the spiritual path, we come with baggage.

We bring our unprocessed emotions, incomplete dreams and tangled-up identities with us. We’re like those people you see at the airport: luggage carts piled high with roller bags, suitcases, duffels and boxes covered in duct tape.

We come as we are with all our complexity and confusion. Among the baggage and boxes, there’s one that’s labeled spirituality. That’s where we’ve packed our inherited ideas about what it means to awaken—our hopes and ideals about how the spiritual path will change our life and the world.

Accumulating ideas and ideals about awakening is part of the path. These ideas, images and ideals are inspiring. They’re motivating. They’re what motivate you to attend retreats, enroll in programs, read books and listen to podcasts. They are beautiful!

But there comes a time on the spiritual journey when we’re ready to let go of the baggage. Again, I’m not talking about the family karma baggage or the emotional boxes of painful memories—I know you’re ready to let those go, so you can live your awakened life!

I’m talking about your ideas of awakening itself. There comes a moment when you’re ready to let these holy ideas go. Not because you’re cynical, defeated or tired of the whole thing—but because you’re ready to go deeper.

You’re ready to let Life be your guide. Right now. In the very conditions that you find yourself, you’re ready to stop manipulating experience and to sit at the feet of this moment. You’re ready to become a disciple of Life itself.

What will you find? No one can say. That is what makes the letting go so powerful.

There is no way to know. Even your past experiences of bliss, meditation, freedom can’t guide you. Especially those past experiences!

As the wise Lao Tsu has written: There are ways, but the Way is uncharted.

In that moment of letting go, there is nothing to hold on to.

Here’s the practice:

Eric Klein illustration

Falling with you in endless gratitude,

E & D


P.S. We’re thrilled to welcome the new members of the new Wisdom Heart Community. It’s the place were we share monthly teachings, practices and live calls—all in support of baggage-free traveling.

If you’d like to learn more and/or get on the waiting list click here.


Author: Eric Klein

Images: Flickr/Elliot Stokes; original illustration by the author

Editors: Yoli Ramazzina; Catherine Monkman

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