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following true north
ponderings along the path
For years I kept a copy of “Monastery Guest Houses of North America” in my home office.
I could judge how well I was doing emotionally by it's location. On the shelf, on the desk, on my bedside table or in my hands. At the moment, I have misplaced it entirely, which must mean I'm doing really well. But then again, I have just checked Amazon for the latest edition …
(please click Read More below)
So my quandary has always been this; where will I find the meaning in life?
(You can see that I prefer to ask myself big questions)
Will it be through interaction with the world outside me or will it be in seeking what can be found within?
I tend to gravitate toward the latter. As a child, I preferred to play “alone” - meaning just me and my imagination.
I wasn't a complete recluse. I had two siblings and I always had a group of friends.
I became more and more outgoing as I got older, but my guilty pleasure was the time I spent apart. As the years went by, my opportunities for solitary time dwindled and the demands of education, jobs and family life claimed almost every waking moment. I began to feel guilty about even wanting to be alone.
My Monastery book became a special friend that I could reach for. It brought me a degree of validation. After all, if the topic warranted a book, there had to be other people with the same craving for silence, empty space and a certain amount of sensory deprivation, right?
Although I have often attempted to rationalize my desires by considering the lives of Buddhist Monks, cloistered Nuns and other ascetics; to be honest, I am not in that club.
But I have chosen to explore more of the world within than the world without. I have found a certain amount of peace with who I am; a woman who finds creative energy, answers to a few of life's big questions and a state of peace in solitude.
That doesn't mean that I don't still struggle with my choice and today, I am anxiously awaiting Amazon's delivery of my new “friend.” :-}