Fábio Barbosa

Letter to a Young Mystic

“How do I start?”

I would say that paying attention, indeed, cultivating your attention, is key. If you don’t already, start meditating. Do the basic mindfulness exercise of being aware of your breathing, of your forehead, between your eyes, or wherever comes easiest for you.

With time, you might want to add some questions to your practise as you grow more and more acquainted with calm and awareness. Calm and awareness usually beget one another. For there is a Presence within Silence, and being aware is how you will come to find it.

This encounter is equal parts listening and asking. One could call it “prayer”. When abiding in Silence, ask for your path to manifest itself; resolve to be open and surrender to what it may bring, for any path worth your life will surely be the greatest adventure of all, from which no one comes out alive. The truth is you will never get to enter the Promised Land. Yet eventually you shall have a glance of it from afar, and be thankful you did.

Ask, then listen.

Seek the Presence within Silence with the eagerness of a lover. Do knock on its door every night and every day, until the last of your days, when at last you shall be given access to the inner chambers. Let yourself be devoured by the love of Silence for Silence itself.

Do read. Read a lot, both what you are most curious about and what bothers you the most, for there is a tremendous value in stumbling blocks.

Be warned though, that the letter of the law, and all prose, is death. In essence, what you actually seek is a knowledge of all things and life itself that must be of an innermost and uttermost truth and necessity in your soul; if that were not the case, you would not feel the urge to seek it. This is a Path of many roads, but Nature is the teacher of all. And the poets are her prophets.

Be aware of life in general. Consider all things to be in constant dialogue. Know that you too are taking part of that conversation.

Be compassionate, especially towards yourself. Know that the Soul always knows what it is doing, and the Self can only do as it knows best. When in doubt or exhausted, go back to being aware and paying attention. See the world anew. Like a newborn would.

Always remember what made you first ask “how do I start?”. That is the most beautiful and the greatest motivation you will ever have in your path.

The questioning. The craving. The need to journey.