Zen-Master-RavenGray Wolf made one of her rare visits to the circle, and after a talk by Raven she remarked, “The goal of practice seems to be just more practice.”

Raven bobbed his head. “Well?”

Gray Wolf hesitated, and then asked, “So there’s no end to it?”

Raven hopped down from his perch to a little hummock beside Gray Wolf, put his beak to her ear, and murmured, “Thank goodness.”

Robert Aitken, Zen Master Raven

There are several books I keep on my shelf to re-read and Zen Master Raven: Sayings and Doings of a Wise Bird is one of them. Raven is known as the wise bird, and all the animals visit him to meditate and seek advice. Essentially, they want the answer to the same question so many of us ask: “Why am I here?”

Through his wisdom and keen sense of humor, Raven gently teaches that one’s search for purpose is never-ending. After all, life is constantly shifting around us, giving us opportunities to learn, grow, evolve. The more mindful we become, the more we come to understand the why. The more we understand the why the more capable we become at accommodating it.

And then there’s the path — we each have a path, a practice, and spiritual beliefs that support it. When one pursues the path of their spirit, there can be no right or wrong. It’s the learning along the way that makes it all worthwhile. Even Raven has an opinion on this topic.

Black Bear asked, “Am I on the right path?”

Raven said, “Of course. Wolverine is on the right path.”

Black Bear said, “Wolverine? He seems pretty far afield.”

Raven said, “His path.”

If you are actively questioning and seeking your path, your way, your spirit, do not be discouraged. That is your path! What you discover along the way, the experiences of your journey, are what gives your life meaning.

That reminds me of the famous quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit priest and philosopher:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience;
we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

This quote has been used by motivational speakers Stephen Covey and Wayne Dyer. Although de Chardin died in 1955, I’m certain he’s pleased that his powerful words are so widely shared and appreciated.

How do you know you’re on the right path? Check your pulse.

Got one? Then you are just where you need to be!

As Raven would say, “Have to start somewhere.”

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