The term ‘’Path Consciousness’’ is a way of describing the awareness that arises at times of great change in our lives. When we’ve awoken to the possibility of something different from what we’re used to or more in line with what’s good for us. It might be discovering a higher purpose for ourselves that feels just right and brings meaning into our lives. Or it might just be knowing that we are exactly where we need to be in our lives and feel in tune with the various sychronicities that are playing out for us. Every event, every fear, every joy, every perception, has the potential to feed our Path Consciousness and serve as a sign post on the way that leads to awakening, love, compassion and wisdom.
A good example of how Path Consciousness can play out on the collective level would be this latest human drama, the global Coronavirus Pandemic. It does have the potential to cause great suffering, grief and misery, to separate us from what we love, and force us to confront what we don’t like and are deeply afraid of. It also has the potential to act as a catalyst for deep transformation on the national, global, societal and individual levels. Many people have expressed relief at the slowing down of the normally relentless pace of life due to the measures that have been taken to stop the spread of the virus. There has been an increased awareness of an alternative mode of living that most people had been too busy to realise for decades, even Millenia. The space that has been opened up by us stopping, or slowing down, is alive with the energy of change. A collective Path Consciousness has begun to manifest and will hopefully not just be lost in the rush to get back to the struggle, because change, real, effective change, is just too scary for us.
My own Path Consciousness was born in a time of great distress, confusion and despair. A new energy, inspired by the fertile ground of the deepest grief, stimulating an existential question that now bears the fruit of enlightenment. I was shown the right path for me in no uncertain terms. I consider myself very lucky that it was presented to me in a way that left no doubt about the fact that it was the only realistic path for me. All the others would have led, I’m pretty sure, directly back to ground zero!
As time goes on the path gets narrower, the method of travelling gets simpler and the rewards are richer. Complexed practices and convoluted philosophies have arisen and then faded, but served to help illuminate a clear way through the mist of confusion that obscures the path to the Pure Land.
In my life Path Consciousness has ultimately manifested as Nembutsu, the calling to Amida Buddha that transcends, yet somehow includes the human struggle. Allowing an authentic way of experiencing and living fully this awkwardness of being alive, being vulnerable and fallible. At this point it is difficult to imagine how my life, my spiritual journey, might be transformed into anything dramatically different from how it is now. However, life is unpredictable and I remain ever conscious of the most persistent of my life koans, which always reminds me that More Will Be Revealed!
Namo Amida Bu( :