today i realigned resumed returned and regained my path.

for the past three weeks, i had allowed myself to drift away from the spiritual journey and sink back into old habits and relentless thinking and anxiety attacks and substance abuse. it is foolish to think that i myself am not the cause of this. it is pitiful the way my ego automatically attempts to reroute and export the blame from Self to Other. but i recognize the denial inherent within such feeble attempts. it was my choice and my decision and my fault and, above all, my opportunity to learn and grow. firstly, i allowed myself to stop meditating. secondly, i allowed myself to drink alcohol in substantial quantities. these, along with various other indulgences, caused the slip and the profound detour the past three weeks have been.

however, the three weeks were not devoid of moments of clarity. several significant events took place that kept me firmly rooted in my commitment to the path, even though my practice had been temporarily suspended. the first of these was a boat ride i experienced with my family through the rustic and humble back-canals of Bangkok. this brought with it a moment of intense clarity and presence, out of nowhere and sudden. the second took place also on a boat ride, but this time in the middle of the Thai jungle. this was an otherworldly experience. everything integrated and coalesced and existence became clear and united. i lost all fear and anxiety. i lost all worry and concern about having stopped meditating. every thought disappeared and i was left alone with beauty. the third, and perhaps most significant, moment of clarity took place in Phuket Island when my brother and i rented motorbikes and promptly crashed a couple of minutes later while attempting a treacherous turn going downhill and not knowing how to brake safely. after getting up and reviewing the injuries, i was swept over by a rush of nausea and an almost shock-like reaction. my arms were all bloodied, my legs unsteady, and my vision blurry. i didn’t really know what to do at the moment, and to top things off, two policemen arrived and began asking questions in the flimsy quasi-English Thai people use. however, as the nausea subsided, a new wave of hormones began to flood my body, this one different. this wave was one of acceptance and non-attachment. i realized that the reason i was so perturbed previously by the fall was my attachment to my body and more so to my life. but as soon as i broke that connection and let go my hold allowing the universe to take care of me and do with me as it pleases, everything lit up. i was overtaken by a beautiful calm and happiness even. as i was getting my wounds cleaned by this Thai nurse, without whose care and love and i would have fared much worse, i felt like the happiest man on earth. so much love began emanating out of me and into this wonderful little nurse that cleaned me up so carefully and also out into the whole world and existence itself. from that day onwards, a significant change settled in upon me. my wounds from that crash have not yet fully healed, but my mental wounds from it, through their slow and gentle healing process, have helped to prod me back onto the path to which by my own will i have chosen to keep.

today i woke up and meditated for 23 minutes. i have been at a sustained level of presence for the whole day. admittedly, it is not the most present i have been, but it is definitely an advance from the abyss of the past three weeks. i also went to the library and rented out three new spiritual books and then i went to the gym and ran. i decided that these three things should never again be absent from my life: exercising body, exercising mind, and exercising spirit. my new priority in life is to ensure that every day from now on will contain within it meditation, reading, and running. writing is also another activity that i would like to include in my days but it is of a lower priority than running, reading, and meditating.

i am happy again finally and i am at peace again. i am back on track and today is backontrackday. i have resumed the path and i intend to never detour from it again until i am transformed. intentions don’t always match up with reality but if we wish hard enough for them to do so, i believe we can make them match.

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”
– Buddha

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