The nature of the choices I have made in my life over the past 15 years has created a life where I move around in the world. A lot. In the past 13 years I have lived in 12 different places. As one, who by natural inclination craves the retreat and the stability of a home base, it has been an interesting experience in the flow of my growth to have been gifted the dynamics of what would initially appear as its opposite. In my corner of the adventure, there has been much varied physical motion in the world.
The stability of change these past years (as contradictory as that may sound) has been incredibly important to supporting my growth. This physical motion in the world has taught me some very importance lessons and right at the top of the list would be the concrete knowing that the human desire to be at home, for me, is ultimately at its root not actually accomplished or fulfilled by the creation of any external location or place. The physical place itself is only ever the finger pointing at the deeper truth.
Not having had one X on a map to label as home as such over the last chunk of years, has taught me that what I actually crave is the internal way of being that one experiences when being present in an actual external home. Not having an external location, I have been forced (as much as anyone can be forced to grow) to put the feeling that one gets of comfort, security, warmth, stability and belonging on wheels and to move the dynamics of these things into a way of being inside myself. For me the outcome of this has meant that the way I now move externally in the world at large from place to place in my life, has become a dance of stillness while in motion. I have discovered that I am in a position of always being at home no matter where I am on the map… everywhere I am, everywhere I travel and everyone I meet are completely at home with what travels within me. I have been gifted the access to a portable sanctuary of sorts… wherever I am, there is the sacred ground one would seek. Whatever I am doing, this then naturally becomes part of my current spiritual home and sanctuary complete with ritual and retreat!
As I travel around this planet however, I would not be honest unless I also shared that there are still those moments when the rather private and introverted M does desperately crave space and time all to myself. In those moments that I do not have the actual physical access to such environments, it is to those who do have them that I go. I close my eyes and make part of my practice of what it is to be at home, to connect with those precious souls on the planet who are grounding that feeling of home actually in one location. I make part of my being at home in myself to remember, with conscious intent, those whose growth and journey is currently teaching them what home is on a trajectory that keeps them physically holding still as well.
One group of incredible humans who are doing this remembering while also in one place are a group of Tibetan Nuns. They anchor peace and stillness while holding still in the Nangchen region of Tibet. It was through watching a documentary about their monastery and their lives some years ago that I discovered these amazing women. In particular, the part of their story that really stuck with me is that at their monastery, they have a period of time that they can choose to go through a 3 year and 3 month retreat that includes living 20 hours a day in a physical sanctuary space that is about a yard square. In reality it is really living all life during that time in a physical box of sorts.
It is in this one same small space they study and meditate and eat and sleep. They enter this particular ritualistic practice as a group and they stay together through the years of the whole cycle. During this time these nuns do not cut their hair and for nine months they also remain in complete silence as well. How foreign this creation of home seems to my experience, but how wonderful to realize that we are in our own ways creating similar opportunities for remembering! As their experience of connecting to home is so radically different from what I have called to my journey, I have a huge appreciation for what this group of women is doing.
So, as I move about in the world, from time to time when I need it, I think of these nuns (and really all those who have come onto my path of awareness who have been called to remember a place of stillness while also being still). When I do this, I always send them a thought of connection and appreciation for what they are grounding in our shared journey. They, just like me, are contributing to our collective experience of what it is to live as human beings on this planet. When I need to hold still and be cocooned in, it gives me great comfort and peace to think of the sacred space they are creating by actually physically holding still as well.
In the chaos of what can be modern human life (think JFK, LAX or ORD in the middle of a huge weather delay), just thinking of one of these beautiful nuns, who is also actually sitting peacefully at that very same moment in the mountains in the solitude of her meditative box, centers me and stills me while I am needing to be present in the thick of human motion.
Recently I have also been enjoying the comforting feeling of home as it is found in the inspiration and reflection that has come onto my path from those of you who have found your way to the words that I leave and share with the world here on seeingM… with those of you who are moving around on the planet with me, as well those of you who are holding still as you write. I have found through this medium another wonderful portable sanctuary of sorts. I feel privileged to have been given access to the thoughts and experiences of those who also feel called to share parts of their journey with words. I feel humbled by the connection and the quality of the company I find at home with me here.
Maybe one day it will be my turn to have one little physical spot to be in stillness from, but until then, thank you to those who are currently sharing from theirs. It gives me great joy to connect with you as we together create home with these electronic sanctuaries. Again, thank you.