Eagle Cap, Wallowa Mountains by Chuck Craytor

The Path of Trust

Forest Path off McKenzie Hwy. Oregon
Forest Path off McKenzie Hwy. Oregon

True and lasting peace will be realized only by forging bonds of trust between people at the deepest level, in the depths of their very lives. – Daisaku Ikeda

Looking back over my years of having a spiritual practice I have noticed a couple of key principles that continue to make a difference in my life. I’ve noticed that the intent underlying my prayer has a significant influence on my daily practice, and the results I see in my life.

A while back I had an experience that demonstrates two principles that have made the biggest difference in my spiritual practice: listening and trusting that still quite voice in my life.

I had accepted an invitation to go rock-climbing with a friend, an experienced climber. It was my first experience at the time with rock climbing and something I had wanted to do for years. The experience turned out to be much more challenging than I had imagined.

My objective was simply to reach the top. I had barely begun when serious doubt crept in. I realized this was far more difficult than I had expected. But I was determined to proceed as far as I could. At the halfway point, my doubt only increased. Then I said to myself, “I can do this. I am doing it.” That affirmation lasted for another two feet.

My friend provided some good coaching and constant encouragement from below. I made it a few more feet only to be stopped, not seeing any way to go farther. I tried my friend’s suggestion of a route to the right. But it didn’t work. By then it was close to sundown, and it seemed that time was running out. I told myself, “I’ll return another day.” From below my friend shouted, “Just relax; let the harness and rope support you.” Automatically, I thought, “Think Chuck.” Then suddenly I thought, “No, don’t think. Just listen. There is nothing to figure out. Just listen and trust.”

With a calm and deep listening, I scanned the rock columns and repeated to myself, “How ever long it takes, I will stay here until I hear the way.” Then, off to the left—opposite the route my friend had suggested—it seemed as if the rocks were calling me. Trusting what I heard, I moved to the left across the rock columns. Slowly I ascended to the top. The new route worked!

My friend’s coaching and support was helpful. Yet, in the end, I had to listen and trust my own heart. There is nothing to figure out. Listen to that still, quiet voice; trust; and take action.

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