"Each step of a spiritual journey involves this crucial turning point of becoming aware of our most profound questions. In acknowledging our impulse for clarity, it is then possible to develop our aspiration for enlightenment. Once we are conscious of our deepest yearnings we can begin our practice, realize ourselves, and share that wisdom with others. At each stage along the way this cycle of practice, realization, and actualization is repeated. Again and again and again. . . .

"Each step of the way is filled with pearls — accomplishments and insights, and fraught with perils— corresponding complications and dangers. The pearls are the discoveries within ourselves that nourish and empower us, and allow us to help others. They shine right at the outset of our journey and continue throughout because this journey is a process of coming face-to-face with our original perfection. The perils are the sticking places, nests, distractions, and detours. The spiritual evolution itself creates new tests all along the way. We start with our collection of problems and we create new ones as the process of clarification develops."