The Way is Yours to Choose

The Way? The Path? Sound so cliché, but how else do you write about our lives? The last line I’m going to share from this book set my heart free.

the way

“To follow the Way is not what we might think; it does not mean that there is a narrow path to follow, like a little brick road leading to the end of the rainbow. Your way is the Way, and your life is the Path.” From The Path of the Human Being by Dennis Genpo Merzel

The way I think, is the way. My life, my choices, are the path. There is no set destination. There is no finish line. My only goal while I move through this existence is to experience it, learn from it, and keep going. My hope each day is that I may learn to experience all the ups and downs, lefts and rights, more peacefully. In this way, I can share this life with others, maybe pull them along with me for a part of their journey.

It feels like freedom.

The whole time I was reading this book, I kept thinking of The Matrix. And, no I haven’t seen the new movie yet, but I am going to this week. It’s one of my favorite stories. In the movie, Neo comes to the realization that he is inside a program and his physical self is trapped elsewhere. You know the story, right? The point of the movie is to escape the program and live real lives.

Zen Buddhism is similar, except that it seems that the point is that we realize we are living in a program and then accept it, relish it, and keep living without the drama and stress of escaping. We don’t bend the spoon to our will, we simply know there is no spoon and let it go.

Sounds crazy. In The Matrix, Neo learns to see the code behind what he is experiencing and change it. We see the code, the fact that we are all atoms arranged in different patterns and then move in it as part of it, instead of struggling against it.

Pieces cut for new table napkins.

Yesterday, I was able to see the code and move through it. It felt good to (even if fleetingly) see a feeling for what it was, passing and ephemeral. “I’m feeling a bit of sadness, anxiety, a little put out by my circumstances at the moment.” And then I sat in it for a bit, gave it some love, and then chose to let go of it. I asked my husband for a hug (and didn’t grump about having to ask) and we made some plans for the day.

The result? A peaceful day, a project I’d had on standby for a couple years got started, a chili dog dinner, and a game of Pinochle with his brother and nephew. My way. My path.

Click back to my first post on “The Path of the Human Being” for more posts inspired by this book.

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