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External, Internal Seasons


The wood shed
Winter overcomes our pleasant memories
by the chilling, damp, windy, gray mood,
time stands still, as the leafless trees cry—
even though we know spring will come
we still wonder how we’ll survive.

Now that the winter is fading
the luscious bulbs bursting forth,
I am reminded how my previous life
without a spiritual quest leading to Krishna
seemed purposeless, ominous, dark.

Materially inexplicably, in my great need
I realized what was missing from my life—
the spiritual dimension called to me
awakening hope, unheard of enthusiasm,
a willingness to travel uncharted roads.
First spring flowers
I could feel my life’s winter ending
knowing a season of joy and blooms
was right before my eyes
if I found the right, unlocking key
to a spiritual door never dreamed of.

Somehow now, life told me, “yes!”
whereas before it was always “no!”,
so, a formally dull, confused youth
became a spiritual seeker with purpose
surprising my friends and family.

Previously, life was only boring
simply to be endured, distracted from;
now it was a mystery at ever step
to be solved and lived joyously—
I finally had a path for success.
Panca Tattva

Yet, even on the path of joy
of perpetual dance and song
there are still seasons to embrace
the ups and downs of spiritual practice
where we find new layers of purification.

To the tired spiritual traveler
finding the oasis of a spiritual path
we may think our work is done,
resting in peace and happiness
since we know the “Truth”.

Although we have the key
to open the door, we still must enter
where we find another journey awaits;
the inner voyage of introspection
letting go, praying, accepting discipline.

Time tests us with all around changes
externally and internally, adjustments required,
loosing the superficial, what no longer works;
deeper foundations must be discovered
eliminating the unessential, or shallow.

Initially the path to Krishna seemed
black and white, being held in our hands,
we simply repeated the magic formula
amazed at the transforming power
not anticipating the effects of our growth.

With more knowledge, realization,
an openness and yearning reveals
a nuanced, deep spiritual path
not always either--or, but sometimes both
with increased capacity, the next mountain looms.
Steep climb

RE: This entry

Spiritual discipline is very interesting. It does not always come as you expect it to. Recently, I had some spiritual discipline happen to me. I made a banal and insensitive comment on another forum and I had to apologize for it. Then, in my offline life, I was faced with an unfavorable and ignorant action placed upon me at work. I live in Mississippi, and a lady offered me some hunting game from a friend. This offended me greatly, but I just politely said "No thank you." I realized that God was trying to show me that all of us as humans are imperfect and all of us should be careful in what we say to others and also forgive others. So, now I am ready for another level and I know that as you say, another "mountain" has presented itself.
Hare Krishna,

Lessons are teachers are everywhere

Thanks for writing! Very much appreciated! If we are sincere and open, then there are no scarcity of teachers or lessons to learn. In the 11th Canto of the Shirmad Bhagavatam we have the example of a brahmana who found 24 teachers or shiska gurus amongst life and nature. Although it is important to seek out advanced spiritual people, our ordinary association is very important as well to show us how far we need to go in our spiritual life. On the mountain top we may think we are very spiritual, but when we work with someone who pushes our emotional buttons (or live with them) our response, or more likely, reaction, reveals our level of spiritual advancement. Here is an old blog taken from my BTG article that you might find useful: