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Shopping Advice for the Spiritual Supermarket Part 5 : Make Something Beautiful

by Patrick Groneman

Two years ago I set out on a quest: To sift through the myriad of practice opportunities available to a 21st century American Buddhist and find a spiritual path that I could call home.

I've since attended weeklong and weekend retreats in the zen, insight and shambhala Buddhist communities.  (You can read about them here: zen, insight, shambhala.) Though I've yet to declare myself a part of a particular school or lineage, I've learned a great deal about myself and my expectations for spiritual practice along the way, which I thought would be helpful to share here.

I'll be breaking them down into five different posts, one each Wednesday, while I'm away on retreat.  Feel free to comment and share, I hope the thoughts bring a sense of connection to the search.

Part Five - Make Something Beautiful

Finally, I request that you turn your search for a spiritual practice into something that can be shared.   Write a poem, do a drawing, sing a song out of tune.  Laugh with your friends about how silly you would feel wearing a black robe, cry to your friends because you don't know what to do with your life.  The richness of the inquiry is worth being shared in an honest and open-hearted way.  

Here is a list of suggested reading for a "spiritual search"

A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The Eight Gates of Zen by John Daido Loori
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Suzuki Roshi
Delicious Laughter the Poetry of Jellaladin Rumi

These are my suggestions, and should only be taken as such.   Please feel free to leave feedback, and I'd also love to hear any more suggestions in the comments below.

May your path be filled with wonderful, deep questions.

(You can also read Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4)

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