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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Unlikely enlightenment

What does my Higher Power want for me today?

It wants me to listen to spiritual teachers. And building on yesterday's card, it wants me to find spiritual teachers in unexpected places.

In this card from Tarot de St Croix, we see the Dalai Lama sat before a statue of the Buddha. For me, this is the sort of scene I picture when I think of spiritual teachers. I was a practising Buddhist for many years, before branching out into a more naturalistic pagan sort of practice. So for me, this card is as 'traditional' as the Pope in the RWS deck. Yesterday's card reminded me that spiritual awakening can come from different practices, and suggested to me that I should be more open to enlightenment appearing in unlikely places.

I've been reading a book that is proving to be unexpectedly helpful to me, an unlikely source of spiritual awakening, as I am not the book's intended audience. That book is the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. (I don't even drink.) And I've found two of the most unlikely spiritual teachers, for me, that I could possibly have imagined, Charlie P and Joe M, a pair famous amongst AA members though certainly unknown by the rest of us. The pair are famous for their study sessions on the AA Big Book, and many of their sessions were recorded. I have been listening to a recording done in 1998, found on You Tube, of a weekend Big Book study retreat. The recording is nearly 11 hours long. Only 1 hour 40 minutes in, it has already helped me so much in clarifying and understanding some issues in my life. I've been listening to it 20-30 minutes per day, but today I'm off work and have a chance to listen to a lot more of it.

Charlie is from Arkansas, Joe is from Florida. Their accents are so familiar and cozy to me, as is their gentle homespun humour and the Sunday School teacher cadences of Charlie's style in particular.

These are certainly unlikely spiritual teachers for someone like me, always looking to yoga and chanting and incense and candles or climbing up a clifftop to watch a sunset for a spiritual experience. Listening to a couple of, as they would say, 'old drunks', would not have occurred to me. But here they are.

May you be open to all the teachers that cross your path.


  1. These two were amazing spiritual teachers for me also. :)

  2. Wow, these two guys brought back some wonderfully, warm memories for me. I had a chance to see them at a weekend Big Book gathering many years ago, and they were funny, down-to-earth teachers.
    I find that if I come across someone whose message I instantly dislike, then they probably have some lesson I need to learn (even if it's about myself).

  3. Today's post combined with this one give me food for thought. That reminder that opposites are part of a continuum and that we can learn from the strangest of teachers. Brings me back to the question of what I can learn from my a Tower experiences...