There are a lot of shiny paths to pursue when it comes to religion and spirituality. There are many things that people within your own tradition will say that you should do. There are many things you may like to do. Eventually you have to face the fact that you can’t do everything and also do it well. There comes a point when you have to look admiringly at what someone else is doing, and then let it go, because your plate is already full.
It is better to do a few things well than it is to do many things badly.
Earlier this summer I had a dream that I was on a quest with a group of people. The quest was long and very dangerous. There was no guarantee of success or even survival. We stopped to rest on a trail on the side of a snowy mountain. I took the time to look at what I brought with me. There were a lot of wooden practice swords in my pack. Where I was going, I would need a real sword, and all the false swords would only slow me down. I decided to leave them behind. I shaved my head and changed my clothes. I put down as much as possible to lighten the load, including my shoes. One of the things I did bring was a large book, which was essential despite the great weight. I transformed myself into a warrior monk. At first, I worried about how my bare feet would fare in the snow, but it worked much better than expected. The lack of shoes improved my balance when we crossed over tricky rocks.
The idea of becoming a monk has always appealed to me. For some reason, I never really allow myself the freedom to drop the unessential. I feel like I have to carry it all, just in case. It is a recurring problem. I had this dream about the time that Sobek stuck me in the river, to teach me to let go. Now I feel that I’m doing it again. Maybe I’ll never learn.
What false swords are in my pack this time? Are these shoes protecting my feet, or interfering with my balance? And what is worth carrying despite the heavy cost?