No Guru, No Method, No Teacher-Van Morrison
Over and over again of late two things are happening in the store which are compelling me to speak. I don't make a habit of living in the past, so I don't frequently bare witness to my own struggles and my own practice to live every day in the present. Part of this is, I'm a private person. I have 39 friends on Facebook all of which I physically know and have physically known most of my entire life as either family members or classmates. I believe strength comes in a small, loyal circle, not as the result of winning a popularity contest. The second part of this is, I believe adamantly that we each are walking our own path. I can give you tools to help yourself in your own practice and I can answer questions which may help you stumble your way through, but it is YOUR path and you must walk it.
The first thing which is happening routinely, is people are coming in and they are in a place spiritually where they are allowing their challenges to define them. Many of them are wearing these challenges as some badge of authenticity or worse they are aligning themselves with: teachers/gurus who do that. Who equate misery to martyrdom. I could write 50 blog posts alone on how this is the wrong path, a path that leads to nowhere and self destruction.
The second thing which is happening routinely, is people seem to be presuming that since I have this little store and I look to have my proverbial shit together maybe they should latch onto me, as their guru. Which quite frankly, is no better an idea than jumping off something high onto something hard.
I have a secret for you. I will give it you free of charge: You were BORN with everything you ever needed to succeed INSIDE OF YOU. You are quite literally stardust, encased in flesh, capable of anything you set your mind on and action toward. You don't need me, or anyone else as a guru, teacher, or to give you a method toward your own excellence and actualization. What you do need is to choose to work on yourself. To choose, to cultivate your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. No one can do that for you, but YOU.
The things I sell in the store are implements, tools, gear if you will. Raven's Grove is like an REI for your spiritual journey. At REI you grab a backpack, a water bottle, some matches and camp gear. REI doesn't take the journey for you, it gives you tools so you can sojourn. This is what we do. We offer you tools for your own practice, for your own path to self mastery.
I'll leave you with some lyrics from Van Morrison from Got to Go Back:
That love that was within me/You know it carried me through/It lifted me up, it filled me/Meditation, Contemplation Too