Musings from the Spiritual Path


I remember in 1991 when I first visited Seattle on a family vacation how radiant and lush the landscape and views were.  I had travelled many parts of the globe by then, and yet touching down here at that time, I felt a deep sense of home.  The land whispered to me, “Come back”.

It took eight more years, a marriage, a divorce, a graduate degree and being introduced to Reiki before I was ‘ready’ to begin to grow roots here.  This internal preparation with external transition was the first manifestation of my spiritual journey.

The first decade in Seattle was about clarifying my vocational vision and stepping into the role of leader in establishing the Reiki Training Program.  Along that path I explored  much of the NW back country and became attuned to the seasons and weather here.  My artist self gained traction through various creative pursuits.  I travelled through Asia and South America with expanded awareness of other healing traditions.

Personal relationships ended, deepened or started anew.  My Reiki work and fellowship began to expand with the publication of my first book and guided meditation CDs.

Over this last almost-decade, a whole new spiritual path has begun.  It did require me to professionally ‘own’ both my counseling and Reiki paths with the state’s requirement of licensure.  That path has provided me with a whole other world of gratifying healing work and experience I never would have gotten from the Reiki path alone.

My home went through multiple transitions from becoming a public workshop and healing space for students and clients into a humble but creative ceramic arts studio.  Family health crises dominated these years, but developing sober strategies enabled an ability to drop further into witnessing.  Despite those tragedies, travel also occurred, to the Mediterranean and all throughout the Baltic.

Again, personal relationships ended, deepened or started anew.

I’m taking a moment today to just catch my breath, looking back with clarity and looking forward with fresh and curious eyes as to what lays in store.  I couldn’t possibly have predicted any of the profound experiences I am grateful to have had when I first walked this land.

I am prepared to be surprised at what comes next.  In gratitude for the journey…..

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Copyright 2017 Eileen Dey Wurst

Flow Chart of the Spiritual Journey

Light is both a particle and wave.  So is the spiritual journey composed of internal/external events and processes.

These concepts come from my own and my students’ journeys I’ve had the privilege to be part of.  It’s a theoretical work in progress:

Evolution of the Spiritual Journey

We begin with the top of the right side of the diagram, the Search Process.

It’s often too easy to focus only on the External Events as being the important change agents of the journey:  finding teachers, attending classes, getting books, etc.  Events serve a function, they give a bit of structure to that which is at it’s core unstructured.

I think it’s important not to get too attached to the External Events themselves.  To see them more as catalysts for the Inner Events that inevitably begin to occur.

Then, moving down the right side, there are Internal Events that happen and are notable:  “ah-hah or insight” moments, visions or guidance, deep understanding about certain principles.  These can be fleeting or lasting.

As we move through the cycle to the left side of the diagram we begin the Integration Process.

External Events focus on living the spiritual practice you’ve come to identify with:  i.e., I am Buddhist, I am a Reiki practitioner, I am a shaman, etc.  We usually affix labels to help us in this definition.

But definitions are not the complete part of the process.  The Internal Events that happen here are letting go of limiting emotions, feelings and habits that don’t honor or serve the definition of self that has emerged.

And so this process and the events that lie within it continue to evolve, over and over again.  There is no pinnacle to reach.  When we need clarity we often go back to the beginning of the Search Process, but it’s not the same place it was when we first started, but has the same elements…looking outside self, then looking within, then integration, changing definition, orienting back to what is now true.

Copyright 2012 Eileen Dey.

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