The Way of Transformation: Daily Life as Spiritual Practice by Karlfried Graf Durckheim
Paperback • 137 pages
The guiding theme within Durckheim’s work is that one could become “transparent to transcendence.” In short, with a meditative approach to our daily tasks, one can remove all personal barriers, to reveal the divine spark which is native to us all.
His methods are a combination of Depth Psychology, Christian mysticism and Zen. K.G. Durckheim was in fact one of the first to bring back the methods of Zen to Europe; his role in Europe much like the pioneer D.T. Suzki was in the US. But his spiritual practice was more commonly equal parts Meister Eckhart, Jung and Zazen. One of the points of intersection to these traditions is those rare moments of higher consciousness which Durckheim called “privileged moments.”
“The first and most vital practice in everyday life is to learn effectively to value those moments in which we are touched by something hitherto undreamt of.” Experiences so intense, that “they call us toward a new way of living and initiate us into a different view of reality. Mystics, philosophers, and saints of all times have pointed to these radiant moments as proof that we are meant to be more than we seem to be.”
A companion concept is that any daily task can lend itself to this awareness. The making of tea, the posting of a letter, or the washing of dishes can lead to a moment of complete presence. In short, everyday life as a spiritual practice. As one commentator put it, “Almost as soon as most teachings have been transmitted, they become rigid and dogmatic, and the spirit gives way to the letter. Durckheim’s method begins and ends with the individual on his or her own unique path. He offers no theory, no cosmology, no religious philosophy. He merely tells us in the magnificent simplicity of eastern sages that each moment is the best of opportunities for working on oneself, and he provides us with a process for the expansion of consciousness which he calls the Wheel of Transformation.”
“In everything we do it is possible to foster and maintain a state of being which reflects our true destiny. When this possibility is actualized, the ordinary day is no longerordinary. It can even become an adventure of the spirit. In such a case the eternal repetitions in the exterior world are transformed into an endlessly flowing and circulating inner fountain.”
Karlfried Graf Durckheim=Author