Idolatrous Attachment to a Spiritual Path

The Lunar Eclipse of August 2008

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Shining a Light on a Path as it Ends

During the weekend of August 15-17, I attended an educational event with my niece. It was meant to be a time of bonding with my niece, introducing her to Native teachings and enjoying what I felt would be an envionment I could relate to as one who has consciously walked a blended-tradition path of spirituality.

I have been acutely aware of my work this time around, in the area of embracing truth where I find it….stepping outside the boundaries that would label me a Christian, a Muslim, a Catholic, a Wiccan, etc.

This particular event had appeal to me because of the blended-tradition energies I knew I would find. It was a Native-American weekend of workshops, hosted by the United Methodist Church and held at a Pentacostal campground. Talk about blended traditions!

Even the Native aspects were blended because there were several different tribes represented….Cherokee, Choctaw, Navajo, etc.

I also knew there would be a lunar eclipse that weekend and had heard it would be a powerful time for setting intent for the future. I intended to do just that but forgot until I walked out of the main hall to go back to our room for something. Looking up, I saw the full orange moon and remembered.

The timing was good because I had just shifted into what feels like a totally new spiritual paradigm for me. As I stood there, looking up at the most orange moon I’ve ever seen, I sent up a simple prayer and it was nothing like the prayer I would have prayed just two days earlier.

The Divine Hand of Spirit had been at work in leading me, through the recommendation of a friend, to this space and time in my life. Something irrevocably shifted in me around the practice of any tradition at all. I saw that tradition, for all that it gives, still puts up walls between people and hampers true connection on the Highest Spiritual levels.

I don’t know what this new awareness means exactly but I have a feeling I’m headed toward the same awareness expressed by Thich Nhat Hanh in his little masterpiece of a book, Peace is Every Step.

After coming home from the weekend, in the afterglow of the lunar eclipse experience, I sat in my meditation chair and read the words of Thich Nhat Hanh and saw that he was speaking to something my soul now understood at an entirely new level….

“Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theology or ideology. All systems of thought are guiding means’ they are not absolute truth.”

I saw that I had been idolatrous about being blended-tradition and that this was no more beneficial to the planet than being attached to one spiritual path and feeling that was the only way. By striving to find truth in other traditions, I was still separate from the higher aspects….beyond the rituals, beyond the beliefs of each spiritual path, beyond the individuals who shared their way with me.

My diary here is not intended to give anyone answers; instead, it’s a place I use to voice my own questions and share my own journey. I don’t know what this new paradigm shift means in my life. I just know that the belief system of yesterday is gone.

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