“Spirituality is a lifelong pursuit. You don’t reach a quick epiphany, get struck enlightened, and suddenly arrive. As Stephen Mitchell writes, at times spiritual transformation can be like “cleaning the heart with a piece of steel wool,” with clarity always the goal. While reading his book The Gospel According to Jesus, I was especially impressed by the story of the spiritual journey of Chao-Chou, a Zen monk from the T’ang Dynasty. Achieving enlightenment when only seventeen years old, he still chose to remain with his teacher for another forty years.
He did this out of love, but also to heighten his insight further and purify his character. Other monks left to teach at a much earlier age. But Chao-Chou was matchless in his excellence, and patience. Finally, at the age of eighty, he felt ready to teach. Chao-Chou proposed a humble philosophy: “If I meet a hundred-year-old man and I have something to teach him, I will teach; if I meet an eight-year-old boy and he has something to teach me, I will learn.”…Chao-Chou can be a model for us all.”
Dr. Judith Orloff, M.D., in “Second Sight”
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Jeff Maziarek, author of Spirituality Simplified and Codi’s Journey, launched Pondercentral.com in April 2007 as a Web-based forum for “PONDER on THIS,” a series of weekday inspirational email messages he began sending to subscribers in March 1999. A FREE service since its inception, “PONDER on THIS” provides subscribers with meaningful content to assist them on their individual paths of spiritual growth. In addition, it benefits subscribers, authors, and publishers by including links to Amazon.com where subscribers can learn more about the book being quoted, and also purchase it.