river2

The flow is its own secret, unguarded and unfathomable.

By Andrew Peers

I would love to live
like a river flows,
carried by the surprise
of its own unfolding.

John O’Donohue
(Unfinished Poem)

Slipping out of the fringe—even the anti-clerical movement of Christian monastic desert tradition, and simultaneously peeling off from two non-religious Buddhist groups—I launched myself into the “real world” a few years ago.

I met with some limited success and had settled down into the 9 to 5 routine when the pace changed again, and the horizon widened.

One Autumn day, a casual comment to two men discussing religion at a British Home Store cafeteria in Ireland marked the beginning of a friendship with one of them. It also marked the first inklings of a new way of viewing—and therefore thinking—about the world.

I spent the following years pondering the simple metaphysics involved and testing them in every practical and domestic situation. While the principles soaked deeper into my understanding, the living reality they revealed clarified my vision. As the poet O’Donohue writes in another place:

“When you begin to sense that your imagination is the place where you are most divine, you feel called to clean out of your mind all the worn and shabby furniture of thought. You wish to refurbish yourself with living thought so that you can begin to see.”

It’s the exact opposite of trying to gain control of a life which rather flows, as the above quotes so beautifully suggest, like a river, “surprised by its own unfolding.” A river that continually meets itself in everything and everybody.

In my case, it wandered all over the place; finding its way through antisocial and aggressive behavior, differing philosophies and training, religious dialogues and radical lifestyles.

From the outside, this must have looked a lot like inconsistency, or even craziness; but my subjective experience was always one of being carried along in a straight line and occasionally getting stuck in an eddy.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to write a thin string of articles and collected some of them into a book. They all merely serve as snapshots of the surrounding landscape at any one moment on the journey.

They are landmarks on the way and not meant as definitive statements. They’re sketches of progression and insight into the development of a personal and unique spirituality as then understood. They’re scraps of information, like the measurements for fitting a suit.

The suit probably won’t fit anyone else and most won’t even notice the weave as anything special. Yet the principles involved in making it are universal, and therefore shareable.

An embarrassed gratitude fills me at the glimpses these stammering words afford. They catch sight of a fiery longing in their flow.

The wandering river slows down in time and naturally gets broader as it finds lush meadows in the valley. It has long since ceased to be a babbling brook or a roaring stream. Now it is quiet and surer of its course even while still not knowing exactly where it’s going or what fortune it will meet with.

Yet there is no sense of having to prove anything or capture something in order to find fulfillment. The flow is its own secret, unguarded and unfathomable.

And as the unfolding continues aimlessly, at last, a boundless sea is entered.

 

Photo: Derivation of The River/Flickr

Editor: John Author

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Andrew "Dru" Peers

Columnist at The Tattooed Buddha
Andrew 'Dru' Peers is of Anglo-Irish stock. A punk rocker in his teens, he later gained a degree in law. He spent 20 years in Trappist monasteries in England, Ireland and the Netherlands, where he worked as forester, gave meditation weekends and studied theology and philosophy. He is ex-chair of the MID (Monastic Religious Dialogue) for the Dutch-speaking region (including Flanders) and participated in the 10th Spiritual Exchange visit to Japan in 2005. He has over 30 years of experience in meditation practice and in 2011 returned from America and Ireland qualified to give instruction in meditation in the crazy wisdom lineage of Celtic Buddhism. In 2016 he was made lineage holder in the Celtic Buddhist tradition. In 2017 he was recognized by John Perks, founder of Celtic Buddhism, as Columcille tulku. Dru writes articles on spirituality, offers online consults, guidance for inner journeying, and holds regular workshops.

Dru is the founder of the Order of the Longing Look, which represents a lineage consistent with a specifically Celtic energy.

The OLL teaches pure non-dualism as an extension of Vajrayana, formless meditation, shamanic practices, and deity yoga. All serve to illustrate and promote the necessary change in perspective, a shift in the way of looking at the world. For more information check out the OLL website. You can also purchase Dru's book here.
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