on traveling


It’s time for me to travel some again and I’m feeling a lot of resistance coming up so I want to explore here what that is about for me. I’m renting my house out starting July 2nd to various groups of vacationers for the summer so I need to vacate the house and move on to somewhere. I’ve been thinking of Europe as I haven’t spent much time there in my life, but something in me is resisting. Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Willow and her sweet kids and she helped me to see that I’m more of a “plopper” when it comes to traveling and being in the world, and less of a sightseer/packed itinerary kind of person. That helped because part of my resistance had to do with the anxiety of moving around too much. I am almost always happiest on the road when I set up camp somewhere and get into more of a flow with the rhythm of a place. I also want to write more and to do so I think I really just need to be in one place for awhile.

I’m looking at England as a starting point, partly because I have a place to land there (some family will be traveling there and will have a house to share on the Thames for a couple of days). There are also a couple of retreats, although they overlap, happening there which are of interest to me, one called Buddfafield and the other called Awakening Truth (led by people who were leading a retreat I went to in India). UK also has my friends Paul and Marcus who I roomed with at Amma’s ashram in Kerela and I’d like to see them again.

But what about the resistance? I think part of it is that there is a “should” somewhere in my psyche that says I “should” travel, “should” explore, and that voice seems to have some strength to it which makes the feeling of traveling right now not completely free flowing. I’m also likely to see Shanti again in France and honestly I’m feeling some ambivalence about it. Eager on one hand and slightly skeptical on the other and therein lies some resistance. Trying to remain open.

Mostly, I think the resistance has to do with the unknown and the discomfort that comes with moving towards the unknown, the unfamiliar. I know deeply, especially through my travels in India, that moving toward the unknown and unfamiliar is a very important path towards self-awareness. Much truth in life seems to be found in uncovering and understanding our resistances, and it is only by moving towards them that we open up that possibility.

Much like in India when I was struggling with whether to stay or go home, it feels like there are some issues around my mom surfacing. Now that I’m home for awhile now, I have more of a desire to remain here. There is a comfort and a security here which I really like, but it’s important to note that those are “mom” qualities, and there is still something slightly unhealthy in my psychic structure about wanting that type of comfort and security. I’ve been working on my”separation” from my mother (in quotes because she’s been dead for 11 years as of July 1) for sometime and it still feels like very important work. So leaving home here is a form of separation from her. An important piece of work that I continue to address.

And that’s related to another important reason for this trip to Europe (which I’ll write more extensively about it in the future) in that I want to bring at least some of my mom’s ashes to rest with her first husband Joey who died in WWII and is buried somewhere in France. Like I say, I’ll write more about it at another time, but there is something very important and symbolic in this for me, so much so that it feels like a pilgrimage of sorts.

I had been thinking about doing a “Street retreat” in Germany at the end of July with a Zen teacher I like, where you basically live like a homeless/penniless person and practice within that environment. It’s something I’ve been attracted to for awhile but Willow yesterday told me a story about how Ram Das was doing a practice of conscious dying when he had his stroke. It was almost as if he brought himself too close to the reality of his practice and it ended up affecting his life. She reminded me of how good I am at creating abundance and that I should think twice about bringing in energies in a different direction. Interesting viewpoint which I’ll think more about. It’s also something I really thought about doing 10 years ago, and it feels perhaps more like me from 10 years ago than it really is about me today.

The last thing is that I’ve been picking up some momentum lately on my “Eyes of Compassion” photography project and I don’t necessarily see this trip as moving in that direction. It’s a very important project in my life, feeling in a way like my potential life’s work, so I want to keep attending to it. You know, as I write that, I feel like I simply haven’t been home long enough to rest up, complete the things I wanted to complete, and then move back out into the world. Therein lies more resistance.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a little here to flush my brain out some. What I really want to do is just “plop” somewhere and write and get into the flow of a place. Belgium has a bit of a call for me so perhaps it will be there, but I want to let that come naturally.

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