When the Student is Ready…The Third Portal

There is not only
1.    Pain and
2.    Noetic experiences as portals to transformation

But there is almost always a third thing all the great teachers mention happens in deep transformation..

    3. The meeting of a “teacher” that seems tailor made to take you on the
next steps of the journey.

This may come in personal meeting, in book form, from a seminar or conference…but you have this unmistakable sense “THIS IS THE NEXT LEG OF MY JOURNEY!”  THIS IS REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT”

the Zen Buddhists Say “when the student is ready the teacher will be provided” 

I have had the grace to experience all of these at different times in my life but the bonefishing experience I have shared before was catalytic and introduced me to all three elements within a 30 day window that has forever altered the entire trajectory of my spiritual formation. 

It was in that window of time I was introduced to Anthony De Mello…then the Jesuit Father Frank Stroud from Fordham who had taken over the publishing of De Mello’s work posthumously.  My time at Fordham with Father Stroud is a marker in my life.  My noetic bonefishing experience introduced me to a resources/teacher in the form of books which then led to a relationship with a master teacher and spiritual director in Father Stroud which was followed by a relational pain portal 30 days later.  That all happened 5 years ago last week.

This is one of the great gifts in my life that all three of these experiences came at a time that made a clear shift very obvious, even if painful for me.

So let’s pause….

Teacher or resource?

Let’s sound off…where do you see or where have you had one of these types of experiences…and if you are willing what age did it happen?


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