Spreading My Wings

I’ve been here before. Everything seems good; life is settling down. My meditations don’t have painful gross sensations, but I can’t really feel the subtle sensations either. I know it will just take a few days for my mind to settle. I know a new set of challenges awaits me at a deeper level of my mind. As new sensations arise, trepidation comes with it. I’ve become attached to the peaceful calm of the last few days; I don’t want to go deeper.

I’m tempted to step off the path for a bit. I try to convince myself that I can simply step to the side and hold my place for a little while. Deep down I know that I can either move forward or backward with no in-between. I’m afraid that by going deeper I’ll be losing something. I’ll be losing my friends who don’t understand, stirring cages with my family that I don’t want to disturb, and losing myself one more time in this process of arising and passing away.

I’m supposed to be less attached to this self. I should be used to letting go, but each time I’m remember how difficult the journey was last time. Then I realize that there’s no other choice. The only way to spread my wings is to continue walking forward. I’ll find the strength and support I need to move forward, just as I always have, even though it’s unclear where the support will come from. I’ve walked on the path enough to trust it. Dhamma hasn’t let me down yet. I will find strength. 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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