Friday, January 30, 2009

tribute to Jack Kornfield

The past year has been one of the most life-altering, faith affirming years I have ever had. It has been one of many joys, exhilerations, and tears. I have been a part of events I quit hoping were possible. When your grasp on reality changes so much in such a short time span, you are left reeling, with the clouds of dust around you.

Jack Kornfield wrote a book called After the Ecstasy the Laundry. I read it as part of my degree work in 2003. I didn't really care for the book much but I think back on its several themes often.

This year, after the most joyous of years, I feel into the worse SADD I've ever experienced. For a while I was drowing, but thank the Gods, my Love pulled me out of the water. Since then, I've been treading water sometimes and at others doggy paddling. I am cold and tired and hope not to sink again, not seeing, but hoping I'm getting closer to shore.

One of the major themes of the book is that after one hits the point of Enlightenment, then one has to return to the world and the daily mundane chores of life. The author went away to a Buddhist temple for months, gained this blissful connection with God but came home and found that American middle class life seemed empty and felt like he'd lost the connection to Enlightenment. His point is that we have to work on it, day in and day out, to always search out those blissful, connected moments.

Esoterically, the dark parts of life are called the Dark Night of the Soul. I cannot say that I am having a large dark night of the soul, but maybe more of a personal dark of the moon. When the ground becomes bright green I'll be through with it and I'll have to remember to be kind to myself for a while. I struggle with the guilt of being tired or the waves of emotion that I seem unable to subvert. Yet, I know its okay to feel, to really feel, and I know that at least I don't suppress all emotion like I used to.
Without the dark, there is no light. We lack the keys to experience joy if we are afraid to get hurt or to deal with growing pains. We have to turn inward to face the dark parts of ourselves if we are to understand ourselves and to touch the mystery.
This is the first time I've put pen to paper to touch on this since I hit rock bottom on December 28th. I'm doing the best I can and everything is up from here.
I plan on using Ego Likeness Lowest Place on Earth as my theme song for a while.


  1. I was wondering how you were doing up there in the blistering north. It took me two to three years to adjust to Philadelphia from MD so I have a small glimpse of what youre going through. Ive been experiencing a similar 'laundry' period myself. I think I mentioned it before. We seem to ride similar wavelengths with only slight variations in tempo.

    Keep your head up. And thank your loved ones and the patrons for their support. In these sorts of times there is rarely better magick then that which comes from True Appreciation. It lights the fires and melts the darkness of the heart.

  2. It is the time to be on that sort of wave length too. I can't expect all to be thrilling newness and growth all the time. You have to process under the ground too. That's the tough part. I really liked Katrina's post today about being patient.