Who knows when this journey started. No doubt, before I had even heard the word Buddha. The shards of my own spiritual wanderings rise up inside of me like secondhand hallucinations. The drugged-out trips of the sixties that led me to Sufi dancing; Hindu chanting; new age enneagrams; Taoist breathing’ Gurdjieffian and Arican “stop” exercises, Kriya, Hatha, Siddha, Raja, and Kundalini Yogas, Indian ashrams; analysis; Peruvian and Native American shamanism — and the reverse: cynicism and despair, the deluded excesses of Hollywood, exploiting the intimacies of the psyche under the brightly colored banner of entertainment. Failing to help exorcise the demons of America. In fact, increasing then. Then numbing solipsism rescued by the road again. Life dances on. All the journeys becoming forgotten dreams. And then, finally, haltingly, the Dharma and taking refuge with Dudjom Rinpoche. Followed by twenty more years of traveling. India. Nepal. East and West. L.A. New York. Greenland, Australia, and Peru. North and South. Cape Breton and Nicaragua. And always, in between, banging around the States with Dharma caravans. Sitting, practicing, failing to practice, being initiated into tantras and sutras, exposed, transmitted, empowered to inner secrets and revelations beyond my comprehension. Saying prayers, whispering prayers, yelling prayers, sleeping through prayers, dropping out, coming back, leaving again, hanging in, taking and breaking and retaking vows, burned out by Dharma centers and Tibetan politics. Why? Why not? And who cares?
- Rudy Wurlitzer, Hard Travel to Sacred Places