Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it. ~ Don Juan, Teachings of Don Juan, A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
There are many paths to choose from out there in the world. In the above quote, Don Juan implied that a path with heart should be chosen because it’s easy. There are millions of paths to be walked so how do you know if your path has heart? Are you passionate about your path and while walking upon it do you feel light and unencumbered or does it fill you with remorse or conflict in which you find yourself engaged in struggle?
Many people break free of walking a path that inflicts a sense of struggle in an attempt to become liberated. Breaking free of meaningless jobs, relationships, or beliefs only to find themselves once again immersed within a pathway that, over time, imposes more of the same. In this case, practices such as recapitulation need to be applied in order to free up the energy that potentially keeps you bound to repeating similar patterns. And then, as more energy is reclaimed a return to your authentic self begins to occur which makes walking a path with heart easier.
A path with heart can be one of a million things. For some, this connotes a spiritual path, for others a path emblazoned with creativity. It could be spending your life cooking or gardening. For some it may be working with charities or non-profit organizations as employees or volunteers. Maybe your path with heart is immersing yourself in nature or a spiritual belief system or opening a daycare center or becoming an activist. Point is there are endless opportunities, endless pathways to follow, and the important thing is to walk away from the path that doesn’t work and to find the one that truly feeds you.
My own experience includes being guided to walk a beautiful path for quite a number of years. Everything about it was fresh and new and light. After some time the path became muddy so to speak but I struggled to reconnect once again with that which had initially brought me so much joy. The harder I tried to embody that initial freedom and heart the more elusive it became and the path I chose turned into one of immense effort and struggle. Sadly, that part of my journey had to be put to rest. Once it had been recapitulated and my energy reclaimed I was soon off on a new pathway that provided me with the joy, freedom and beauty that paved the way for me to continue walking on a path with heart.
Our time in human form is too short to be wasted on things that don’t serve us, things that continually present challenges or things that prevent one from celebrating their passions, love, beauty and dreams. Find your path of heart, even if you are the only one walking it and live your life fully! The bottom line is we are here now. Live, laugh, create, celebrate, and DANCE with others upon this marvelous and awesome earth!
Thank you for reading this blog and for your commitment to freedom.
For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly. ~ Don Juan
looking, looking, breathlessly. Two hours ago this was going through my mind and now here it is. Thanks for posting a photo of my old home-I used to live in that hole and miss it-it had heart. A great New Year to the sisters and brothers. Shadowmessenger-missing the hole and Kit Fox neighbors
To the point- many psychologists, particularly those of the humanistic persuasion, have linked most of the recognized “personality disorders” to feelings of a lack of authenticity, which, to me, sounds an awful lot like not having found a path with heart to follow. Imagine a life where, not only are you not evolving and acquiring power, but you’re even unable to navigate the material/social world in which you’ve immersed yourself. Yuck.
But what I really wanted to say…
For what it’s worth, you soar at the difficult task of finding words for that which is, if not beyond explanation, then certainly problematic to convey. Your coalescent expression of these tenets and the problems and rewards of their practical application is so akin to my own that you provide me with further evidence that “it” is not yours or mine or his or hers, but, as you’ve said, ‘the knowing that has emerged to reveal itself from silent knowledge’.
Human beings are, after all, social creatures, (which is, I suppose, if not actually necessary on some level then an indulgence most of us are at least occasionally inclined to partake in), and I am reminded of something the sometimes profound yet mostly misguided C.S. Lewis said: ‘We read to know we’re not alone.’
Or better yet, as Genero said in reference to Juan: ‘The world is real only when I am with this one’.
Reblogged this on Becoming Awareness and commented:
A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important than anything else. ~ Carlos Castaneda, A Separate Reality
H’mm, profound and beautiful, a gentle reminder to look within for meaning, not to the world. I love this blog. I live on the other side of the world (Australia) but I hope we meet someday. I’ll give you a big hug.
For me, the main thing about walking a path is walking. The time when I feel most alive and happy is when I am out walking. Don Juan used to take Carlos out walking for hours into the hills. The walking itself was as much a lesson as all the talk and the psychic demonstrations. The I Ching says, (paraphrase) do not allow an exercise to become a drill. In other words, you can’t march the path, but if you walk it, even if you follow the same route every day, that path will open up to you in ways you never imagined. You can’t walk the same path twice.