It is said that the most important event in life is to find one’s spiritual path and to commit to it. It is a process that takes place over time, with many crucial moments and decision points. In the following pages I’d like to share my own process with you, and if it resonates with your own search, I will feel that we have walked together on this journey. I wasn’t aware of the great impact that finding a path would have on my life, but looking back, I see that my life has not been the same since that moment.
I was looking, but I was not sure what I was looking for. I was not able to articulate it in my mind. In the religion I was brought up in I experienced the community of worshipping together, but as an adult I realized it no longer met my spiritual needs. It no longer seemed relevant to my life. Was there another path calling me? What steps did I have to take to find what was meaningful in my life? Many Eastern traditions were coming to the West and centers were opening throughout the United States. These traditions offered the wisdom of millennia, but they were not for me. New Age movements abounded, but none kept my attention. Many paths were being offered, but I hadn’t found the one for me.
During this time I attended my high school reunion. All of us there were still relatively young, but we had made certain decisions about how we were going to live our lives. One of my friends was not there, and someone said that he had entered a spiritual community. I looked around at the life-choices of those who were at the reunion, but those choices did not seem the right ones for me. However, the choice of my friend in the spiritual community immediately appealed to me, so I decided to go have a look.
The spiritual path that my friend had joined is called Cafh. Cafh is an ancient word that means the soul’s effort to reach inner liberation through an individual external method. By using experiences from daily life, its members seek to become more conscious, loving human beings. Not all Cafh members live in a spiritual community; in fact, community members are a minority. Most Cafh members live their lives in their homes, fulfilling their obligations and responsibilities, forming families and contributing to society, as well as participating in the method Cafh offers to unfold. What attracted me at this time were the people I met who were members of Cafh. They seemed authentic and sincere. I decided to give it a try.
Several years before I started my search, I had consulted an astrologist about where my life might go. She had said that I would find my perfect man, except that it would not be a man; it would be something spiritual! She ended by predicting when I would join Cafh. She got it to the very week. Was this my destiny? I think finding what I was looking for and making the necessary connections was a grace, more than pure luck. However, it was up to me to make the effort to look for it. Both were essential: the grace to find what I was looking for, as well as my effort.
Deciding to commit to Cafh did require some changes in my life. To be near a Cafh center, I moved to New York City and got a job and a place to live. At the time it seemed like all doors were open to me. I think it was just my attitude, because joining Cafh was something I wanted to do. Perhaps I got strength from an unknown source because I was doing something that was meant to be. Obstacles didn’t seem like obstacles, because this was more important than what I had done before. I felt there wasn’t anything to lose, but everything to gain.
I am glad, for my life took a direction and purpose beyond my own self. It wasn’t about me, but about what I could give through my own inner effort to increase my self knowledge and become more aware of my relationship with the world. This work made my life meaningful, and with meaning came peace.
One important part of finding my spiritual path was to commit myself to it. By giving a vow, I assured myself and others, as well as a Higher Power, that this was what I had freely chosen to do. There are many ways to reach the Divine, but I had decided on one. My search was over. This is where I was going to put my energy and time. Even when I encountered difficulties or felt uninspired to continue, I would keep on going. What made this commitment even more important to me was that Cafh did not promise me anything. There was no reward or promise of salvation. Still I acknowledge that Cafh itself has been my salvation, as it has given me direction, a method, and guidance to help me discover within myself who I really am and my relationship with life.
About this time I had a dream that I still remember. In the dream, I turned around and saw a door. At the door was a young girl smiling. It was me. She opened the door and went purposefully through it. She turned around and gave me one last look and then closed the door. I was closing the door on the past, my young self, the one who had been wandering in search of a path. At the same time another door opened, and I bravely and purposely walked through it. I am still discovering what lies beyond it.
I think the first steps on the path were so joyous because I didn’t know what lay ahead. I didn’t know how much work I would have to do on myself in order to unfold my possibilities. I just didn’t realize. I thought I was perfect, but I had a lot to learn.
It has been worth it. I will share with you some of what I have learned. We are companions and we can share with each other the effort we make and what we discover. My work on spiritual unfolding is my gift to humanity. It may be as small as my winter coat that I had wanted to give away when I was a child, but it is offered in the same unselfish spirit. Take what is helpful for you.
This is the second article by Diana Autumn on the theme The Peace of a Meaningful Life. Click here to read the first article in the series, “My Wake-Up Call.”