Placing priorities has become a vital part of my daily life. And one of my top priorities today is blogging at Ascending Knowledge.
One year ago today, I wrote and published my first post as a co-blogger in this space called “I Know Nothing Now.”
I think I can say without any exaggeration that not a single doubt clouded my mind when I first received Douglas’s kind invitation to blog with him. I believe I literally jumped at the chance. I have shared my delight about receiving this invitation before in my New Year’s post called “Sowing the Seeds of My Practice,” but I will repeat some of that delight again now.
The force of friendship
At the time, Douglas said he believed it would be a great way to sow the seeds of my practice in my world and he offered me a spectrum of opportunity. I could either be a guest for a time period of my choice (a certain number of days, weeks, months) or I could post for as long as I wanted. I went for the second option (as more than a casual observer can no doubt tell) and have since received a promotion, without a raise mind you, to the position of co-editor (I now have license to edit all the posts at Ascending Knowledge at will). So our partnership is growing.
Yes, I speak of our relationship as a partnership, and a partnership it certainly is. But it is more than that. And this has become intuitively obvious to me over the past year. Douglas calls it “attunement,” and I have to agree. I also say, like the frog in Rumi’s poem, that “this is the force of Friendship” at work in the world. As though caught by an invisible thread, I am pulled by the attunement that mysteriously appears between people on the same spiritual path, that “spiritual closeness,” to connect with people on the other side of the planet.
The process unfolds
During this first year at Ascending Knowledge, I have written around 66 posts in English and 56 posts in Russian. My Russian posts are fairly close replicas of my English posts.
When I first began blogging here, my posts were random, inspired mainly by what Douglas happened to be posting on at that time.
Around October, however, I was prompted to begin posting on my Steps to Knowledge practice methodically, beginning at Step One. So that is what I have been doing ever since. To date, I have blogged up to and including Step 44, in both English and Russian.
Writing posts in Russian is rather a challenge, I have to admit. First, my Russian writing skills leave something to be desired, but I persevere and nurture the hope, perhaps vain, that they do indeed make some sense. Second, the translation of Steps to Knowledge into Russian is still in progress, so I am unable to point Russians who might want to practice themselves to a complete Russian version of Steps. I give a link to Steps to Knowledge in English in my posts, encouraged by Marshall’s own words during the first broadcast of the Steps Vigil this year when he said, “And I do want to make one other comment, and that’s the language of Steps to Knowledge. It is so simple, which means it’s so translatable. Even someone with very poor English could read this book.”
A few statistics
I am not as “statistics-savvy” as Douglas, but I understand that as far as visits to Ascending Knowledge from Russia and Russophones go, the statistics have been generally rising over the past year, reaching a total of 621 visits from the Russian-speaking part of the world against a global total of 9,212 for the year. Is this a good percentage? Douglas is encouraged, so perhaps it is.
And to date there have been visits from 60 of the 83 Russian regions and from 94 different cities all over the Russian Federation, ranging from Kamchatka in the Far East to the Republic of Karelia in the northwest on the border with Finland. I have been sharing my Russian posts on a couple of Russian websites and this has been the result. What does this say? I am not sure, apart from I am providing the link and people are clicking. All I can hope is that some seeds are being sown.
In real life, I am happy to say that I recently (on June 24) completed Steps for the first time and am currently on the Step 21. Review the second time around. I am blogging on Round Two separately here, “just for the record” as I like to say.
Another New Message student posed an interesting question about this when he asked if blogging has an impact on you when doing the Steps. I have to admit that I construed this at first as asking, does blogging interfere with actually doing the Steps? In other words, does it detract from your practice? I wrote this in response to the inquiry: “I find it very useful, it keeps me motivated and moving along, but I don’t vouch for this working for everyone. I just enjoy blogging I posted on the NM forum on each Step the first time around, but I thought it might be a bit much to do that the second time. Instead the idea came upon me to chronicle my Steps second time in a separate blog, just for the record.”
Upon further consideration though, I am thinking that “impact” can have both a “negative” and “positive” connotation. Developing the thread of thought I began in my response, I can quite safely say that blogging on my Steps practice has had a very positive impact on the quality of my practice.
I am placing priorities in my life, and top priority goes to practicing Steps to Knowledge and sharing what I am gleaning from it in my blogging efforts.
Here’s to one year and counting!
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