– Heartwood Path Waypoint 1.104 –
The Road To Sageness
The best word for what happens on avenues of pilgrimage such as the Heartwood Path is “sadhana,” which is akin to the Sanskrit word sadhu, which means going straight to a goal. “Sadhana” is a Hindu or Buddhist spiritual practice through which an individual reveres a formed image as a mediate step—a connecting link, an intervenor— in the worship of a formless deity or principle. Sadhana is the Tantric evocation of a formless deity by means of ritual for the purpose of getting control of the deity. Sadhana is also a discipline through which an individual can attain enlightenment or samadhi—the state of deep concentration resulting in union with the ultimate reality. This state is achieved by worshipping (we could say revering, venerating, adoring, exalting, or admiring) the image of a formed thing as a mediate step (a connecting link, an intermediary) to the worship and use of a formless deity or principle (natural laws, the animating spirit . . . God). While sadhana is a Hindu and Buddhist spiritual practice, there are traces of this custom in other religions and spiritual paths, as well. The worshipping of the image of Jesus by Christians is one such example. Our own picking of attractive natural objects (a form of praise), our seeking of consent (a form of reverence and honor), and the repetition of visiting natural beings (a form of devotion) makes the Heartwood Path at least reminiscent of a sadhana. Certainly our chosen attractive natural beings are mediate steps (intervenors, resolvers) leading to the praise of the Absolute and the reception of its guidance, information, and healing.
A formed thing to be worshipped along the Heartwood Path as a mediate step is one’s own “self”, which we shall define as that which is considered all that is of a singular character, united, and not separated as would be an “other” (we shall see subsequently how this self is expanded as a Sacred or Greater Self which includes more than what is enclosed in one’s own bag of skin). Also included in our definition, therefore, are two other significant adornments to the “self,” namely: Nature and a lover.
I use the word worship carefully. When I used the term worship in the context of the Heartwood Path, which is not a religion, I meant an act, process, or instance of expressing veneration by taking part in exercises or rituals in an effort to realize the real presence of the Divine. This presence along the Heartwood Path comes as the excellent guidance, information, and healing one receives with the help of attractive natural beings from the Absolute––that which is complete, pure, consummate, boundless, and universal. I could replace the word “worship” with the word “devotion,” and, thereby, minimize the chances that the participant will react negatively to “worshipping” in unfamiliar or religiously forbidden ways.
The formed things of primary interest along the Heartwood Path are not considered the Divine. Rather, the formed things are mediate steps that connect one through ritual to the Divine; they reconcile and interpret for us Its (or His or Her) Ultimate Reality.
In addition to our sadhana-like practices of visiting attractive natural beings, the stage will be set for your possible illumination or enlightenment during your time on the Heartwood Path through a curious but time-tested mixture of practices that includes Shabda Yoga, the attainment of tranquility, the retention of childhood innocence, boldness, and the seeking of justice (each covered in the waypoints that follow).