I have been working with human-ing for a long time now, really allowing the spiritual to move through my everyday life, not as something separate, but something integrated. At times it has felt elusive, but gradually it has become the foundation of any practice that I do.
My first meditation retreat, 20 years ago, was an intense one. 10 days, from 4:30am to 9:30pm. No talking, writing, reading or even eye contact. Just me and my thoughts. I went in without much real experience with meditation, and without really understanding why people meditated. I had used it as something to "calm down" with, but why sit all day? So that was part of what I was trying to figure out, and on day 4, I basically had an orgasm during the sit. Total bliss moving through my body. And, of course, my brain immediately latched on to it. "THIS is it! THIS is why people do this!!" But when I went to tell the instructor she told me to let it go. I was kind of pissed at her, like she didn't get it. I mean, I had just figured it out!! But she gently and clearly told me it was not about trying to recreate that experience, nor about grasping on to it.
If you meet the Buddha (on the road), kill him.
I have had many, many "other worldly" experiences both on the cushion and in my healing work. It has opened me up to understanding that there is more to this life than what I can see, and shown me my potential. And, honestly, it can be sooooo cool and shiny and flashy. But what I keep learning is it's not more important than tying my kid's shoelaces. If the experience can be used to help me human better on this planet, than I have used it well. But I am less and less attached to holding on to them as a story or thinking I'm special because of them. I love my practices if they show me how to stay in myself, my heart, and my power as I navigate through my day here on earth. Can I love more, and let that love help liberate others?
If my power is going into that which is outside of me, whether a teacher or story or practice (the Buddha on the road), then I need to find the Buddha within myself. I stay open and learn - I cannot let myself get arrogant enough to think I have all the answers, but I do so with the trust that it will activate my own wisdom and empower myself within my daily life.
And if I think I've got it all figured out, and have solidified my identity from experiences or systems of practice, well, you know the answer.
What's your Buddha on the road?