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Are you facing a major challenge?

dolphinsswimmingI lived for 37 years, most of my adult life, in a spiritual community located in a tiny village in the interior of British Columbia. I was 25 when I joined the community, a young fellow from England looking for freedom and adventure -- most of all, for whatever reason, looking for truth.

I thought that this community would be my home for the rest of my life. I found in the leader, a British lord named Martin Cecil, an embodiment and example of the truth I had been seeking so earnestly since I was a child.

I had thought that “truth” was rather mysterious and far-off. I discovered that it wasn't elusive at all, in one sense at least. I discovered that it relates to character, the character of God, shall I say, and when you see that character being expressed and portrayed by someone else -- it reminds you that that is also true of you. This is what I felt coming through my mentor, Martin, from the very first moment I met him, and what made me want to be with him for so long.

One day, in January 1988, Martin died. He left quite suddenly, in a couple of weeks or so, and for me, and for many others too, it was all quite unthinkable. I mean, come on. This wasn't supposed to happen. As I look back upon that period of my life, I realize that I really thought that life with Martin and the spiritual community of a hundred or so people that became my home would go on forever.

Well, within two or three years, following his death, the community basically disintegrated.

People began leaving in droves. I found myself in my sixties, with virtually no material resources, and precious few opportunities to earn a living, with no option but to leave too.

I hung on for awhile. But finally, one cold morning in the fall of 1994, with no-one to say goodbye, numb with pain and grief, I got into a small moving van and left to find a new life in the great big world I had shunned in my youth. At about this same time, by the way, in December 1991, just for good measure, my first wife, Joy, died suddenly of a stroke while we were returning from a holiday in the Caribbean to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Severe change -- usually in the form of loss -- comes to all of us somewhere along the way. It may be that you are facing a major challenge of some kind at this very moment. It may be something that is yet to come. Perhaps you already know firsthand the fragility of our human forms and human endeavors.

But here is what I have learned. No matter what may happen -- to us, to our loved ones, to the seas, to the animals, or to this world -- life can be trusted.

If we will play our part in this wonderful, magical, sometimes terrifying process into which all of us have been born, life will show us a way through whatever predicament may come our way.

Not only that. Life -- and I suppose I'm really talking about God here, the immortal essence at the core of all form and all people -- will lead us step by step into an ever increasing experience of wholeness and joy and peace. It will lead us to the greatest fulfillment of all -- a conscious awareness of who we truly are.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Des Michael August 22, 2009 at 6:45 am

How thankful I am for the connection with you Chris, and your crystal clear message ” No matter what may happen — to us, to our loved ones, to the seas, to the animals, or to this world — life can be trusted.” I add my agreement in this truth and in friendship and appreciation to Life through to eternity.

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Nimit Kashyap February 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

very good post.

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