I found a wonderful book called A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield, a psychotherapist who trained as a Buddhist monk.
I just finished chapter 3 which deals with the importance of going far along one path rather than simply dabbling. His analogy: “It is as if we were to dig many shallow wells instead of one deep one.”
He is very careful not to judge any path as better than any other; “…it is crucial to understand that there are many ways up the mountain — that there is never just one true way.”
His criteria for choosing seems to be contained in this sentence: “We need to choose a way of practice that is deep and ancient and connected with our hearts, and then make a commitment to follow it as long as it takes to transform ourselves.”
I completely resonate with his advice and his approach to spiritual growth, but I always end up in the same place – what to choose? According to his suggestion one’s discipline needs to be “ancient,” which precludes making something up. Unless what was made up was composed of ancient elements.
But none of the established spiritual paths sings to me. I do not feel called, drawn, welcomed, inspired, beckoned, or otherwise pulled or pushed, either by an outer or an inner force, in any particular direction far enough to call it my path.
I can recognize that in my life, I’ve dug many, many shallow wells. None has struck any more water than can allow a brief taste of sweetness. I want to dig a deep well, beyond roots and rocks to the fiery core.