"Each of us acknowledges that we are on a spiritual path, but none of us are on the same path. Some of us attend church; most of us celebrate our faith in our own sacred spaces — some with others, some alone. We are committed to deepening our relationships with people, making time for solitude and prayer, doing work that is consistent with our nature, contributing time and energy to community organizations, participating in events and rituals that foster self-awareness and self-expression. There is no mystique to the spiritual path. No initiation to undergo nor dues to pay. It is simply a journey of awareness through the landscape of one's life.
"To be on a spiritual path means to live mindfully, paying attention to the signs along the road and being conscious of our body — the vehicle we are traveling in — and of the needs and safety of others on the journey.
"To be on a spiritual path means to look inward as often as outward, knowing that the externals of our lives are reflections of our thoughts and words, manifestations of that which we are imagining and energizing into being with the fuel of our passion.
"To be on a spiritual path means to use the rearview mirror to be sure that the path behind is clear of debris and that we do not obstruct another's journey with clutter of our own. It means making peace with our past, knowing our future contains it, and summoning the courage it takes to acknowledge, forgive, and release whatever we have clung to that impedes our movement.
"To be on a spiritual path is to take responsibility for creating our own creed, based on our commitments, and to respect the rights of others to do the same. It also means to reflect anew on what beliefs we've inherited to be sure they are compatible with our wisdom and compassion.
"To be on a spiritual path is to embrace the mystical paradox that while we are singular, physical beings on this journey, we are also profoundly connected to one another, animated and sustained by the same vast Spirit that abides in the star, the petal of an iris, the howl of the wolf.
"To be on a spiritual path is to live with the awareness that your terror is mine, my hunger is yours, our longings are common. It is to remember that every breathing creature and plant is being breathed by the Cosmos at Large.
"To be on a spiritual path, it is necessary to forgive yourself for wrong turns, for failing to yield, for driving under the influence of others. These are minor and forgivable infractions. The more important rules of this road are to be attentive, to notice when you stray, and to get back on the path as soon as possible.
"We could all use a road map for the journey inward, a guide away from the crowded thoroughfare to the quiet path of our own true calling; a reminder that it is not the destination, but the journey, that is important. The fourteenth-century Italian saint Catherine of Siena once wrote, 'All the way to heaven is heaven.' Perhaps this is roadmap enough — this one stark line enough to keep us walking, reminding us that the wind we feel on the back of our necks is nothing less than the breath of God."