The Foggy Path

Trusting dhamma is tricky because sometimes it’s illogical. Many times life has presented me with a foggy path meaning that I can’t see clearly what’s ahead of me. I can see the next step which is safe and logical, but the 3rd or 4th steps are completely blind. To make things more confusing, if I look to my right I can see all the way to the horizon. To my right is my comfort zone where just maintain the status quo repeating the same patterns I’ve had in the past. The path to my right is boring and depressing but it’s safe. Most of the time my mind tells me to play it safe.

Before I learned meditation I experienced these foggy paths also and when I felt like taking a risk I would run into the fog. It took courage and confidence but the risk was better than being bored. Sometimes I was rewarded by wonderful experiences like discovering new friends and visiting exciting places, but sometimes I was punished by 24 hour plane delays or getting mugged. The foggy path was a game of chance.

But with meditation, the foggy path always seems to lead me to the right path even though I don’t know the destination. It’s strange to think that by sitting in silence 2 hours a day I’m actually paving a positive path, but my experience over the last few years tells me that it’s true. Instead of trying to force my way out of precarious situation, I’m learning to be patient and present and to trust that I’m walking in the right direction. This might sound strange and illogical, but it has happened enough that I’m starting to trust it. I’m starting to walk confidently on the foggy path. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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