The Call

What does it mean to really incarnate, to truly inhabit the person we are called to be? I know I have spent much of my life afraid to be the person I was called to be. Before I was ordained in the Christian tradition almost fifty years ago, I was asked to write about my ‘calling’. I came up with something about wanting to serve the world in some capacity and that the ministry seemed to be a way to do it. But I realized that was definitely not the form.

Many years later, I discovered my spiritual home to be Buddhist-flavored and eventually the Dharma Center was born. I had found my ‘calling’ in different tradition—and it became the vehicle through which I could serve the world. Still, it took many more years before I was comfortable occupying the role I am called to inhabit. Even now I cannot say I am completely at ease, but I’m getting there. There are moments in which I seem to disappear into the role. Only then do I feel at home.

Perhaps it is only when we disappear that we can completely inhabit our calling. By that I mean we no longer identify ourselves as someone in particular; we become inseparable from the fabric of the cosmos and wear it like a cloak of invisibility. We still appear to others but we begin to understand it is only a trick of perception. The ‘I’ disappears—only a ghostly, dreamlike role remains.

Everyone has a calling; it is called karma. We are invited to continue our journey in some form dictated by what we have yet to learn. This journey inevitably leads to the disappearing act we call death. But what if we were to disappear before the final curtain? I think this is the echo of spiritual practice; a call to become an empty mirror reflecting the hearts of others.

Remember God [your true nature] so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.    Rumi

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