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My Search for a Spiritual Path

by Helene Dunkelblau

Before I came to Cafh, I had a yearning, a deep longing to give myself to something greater than myself, to find meaning in life that went beyond all of the activities that made up my day-to-day existence. I couldn't articulate this yearning clearly at the time, because there seemed to be no words for it. I just knew that I wanted to have a way to offer my life completely to what I would call "the greatest good"-to give myself through love.

I had been very interested in spirituality and meditation for a number of years. I had tried different types of meditation techniques and had read books from many of the major religious traditions, both Eastern and Western. I had also studied the ideas of the more current schools of thought and dabbled in "new age" ideas. Throughout all of the reading and study that I did, however, the one thing that always stayed with me was the idea of giving oneself completely to the Divine. But what did that mean? Somehow, there was always a gap between what I wished to do and the reality of my daily life. Once I got up from my meditation chair or put down my spiritual book, "life" always seemed to rush in, and the silence and peace that I might have experienced and the beautiful ideas that I read about would vanish, to return only when I once again stopped to do some spiritual reading or to meditate.

At this time, I was lucky enough to have a few friends who were also drawn by spiritual ideas, and I would meet with them from time to time to discuss what we were reading or to sit in silent meditation together. Yet, there was always something missing. No matter how much we shared and meditated together, in the end spiritual life and daily life remained two separate worlds for me. I began to feel that I was in front of a huge iron door behind which was the answer to a great mystery-if I only had the key to open that door.

Then one night I had a very clear dream which I remembered completely when I awoke:

I was sitting in a radio station studio waiting to go on the air as a guest speaker on a then-popular program about spirituality and spiritual life. I was going to be interviewed about my own spiritual path. The host of the show had not yet arrived, and I was all alone in the studio looking through a 2"-thick pack of index cards in my lap. On each of these cards was written some aspect of my spiritual practice. As I sat there waiting for the program to begin, I realized that my notes were totally disorganized, out of order, simply a jumble of ideas. Although a lot of information was there, I would never be able to express it in a coherent way. At the end of the dream when the host of the show finally came in, I apologetically told him that I could not go on the air and left the studio.

Shortly after having this dream, I entered Cafh and found what I was so desperately searching for. Being in Cafh helped me “organize” the various elements of my spiritual life and, most important, offered a method with which I could continually work on myself, become more conscious of who I was and how I was relating to the world around me. Being part of Cafh gave me the tools to begin to work on integrating the small moments of my daily life with my deepest intention of offering and love.