Waking Up Together

Tracy Cochran

“I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck,” wrote Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.  The Eightfold Path always struck me as a bewildering exercise in circular logic—beginning where it ended, if on a different level, with a certain understanding and intention.  All on your own, you were to glimpse the true nature of life, enough to motivate you to wish to perceive and live in a different way.  But if a person could accomplish this kind of seeing and feeling following their own lights, I reasoned, why would they need to follow a path?  Why would they need to practice the moral precepts, right speech, right livelihood, and all the rest?  Wouldn’t they already innately understand the why and the how of that as well?

Go away on a silent meditation retreat or go…

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