by Greg Hermann
“The mind cannot be tricked. It can be trained, but not tricked.”
Michael Ketterhagen, Ph.d
Well thank you Dr. Ketterhagen.
You throw this bomb right in to the middle of my meditation training, jerking me out of a rather comfortable mind set.
Tricked or trained?
Now I have to ponder this question.
I’ll enter the process from my perspective as a parent and reflect on my recollection of my own parents. They took on a role of teaching me to safely cross the street; safely ride a bicycle; safely care for my physical body; safely drive a car; then they offered opportunities to hear the Roman Catholic perspective of God and relationships. These all formed my early lessons of relationships, responsibility, and self-sacrifice.
Being true to my nature, though, I started off on my own prodigal journey as I couldn’t wait to escape the shroud of my parental influence and make my own way. Now, this perspective should offer a direct line to my addictive mindset – I am addicted to my own way of thinking. Substance abuse came later.
Today we have trillions of words spilled in to millions of volumes which explain the necessity of a prodigal journey. However, that doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend this path to anyone. Yet, therein lies the nature of an amazing trick: I can avoid the prodigal journey – NOT!
We enter the physical world with a Divinely innate desire to be safe, loved and in relationship. The prodigal journey is the education. The lessons are to sort out the tricks from the truth.
Today, I can admit in all honesty that my journey through the 12 Step Recovery Program has been a monumental opportunity to transform my tricked out mind. The first step was to admit that I needed help – I really needed help. My previous efforts were not born of the agony and insanity of addiction. I needed to hear that other people cared enough for me to walk with me as I dragged myself through the early lies of self-help and enter into a truth of my need for community, fellowship, and surrender. It ain’t easy, but so necessary.
Everyone I meet in this transformation is an expert on trickery, AND the training needed to surrender to a Divine evolution of truth. Together we teach each other how to train the mind – it's really transformation but it looks as simple as a training program.
I can continue with the nitty gritty details of the training regimen, but most of us know the drill – get connected. Learn to still the mind enough to hear the truth. Get connected with others on the journey. It is not self help, it is community integration with prodigal hikers. We need people who share their stories, wounds, healings and scars as the substance of transformation. We need our experiences of heaven, right here on our streets and in our circles. It is all happening in our neighborhoods, churches, groups and circles.
There are plenty of books with deep insights that are very helpful. There are plenty of preachers and gurus. But the meat of the transformation is our intimate connections that bring us face to face with the tricksters AND the transformers. When I surrender my way of tricky thinking, I get the occasional glimpse of truth. Truth grows and I recognize the prodigal insight: WE can do it.
WE CAN DO IT!
We find each other beside the restful waters.