I had an interesting experience in meditation today during the Jhana Retreat that reminded me of “our real home”. I wanted to share this as a reminder.
I was meditating with the retreatants, eyes closed and all of a sudden I had lost a concept of where I was, for a second I felt that I was not at Bhavana in the middle of a retreat, but rather in NYC , or somewhere else. There was no fear involved at all, just the breath, and the experience of my senses. It didn’t matter where I was, because my home was always with me, this body, mind, and breath.
Later I had this thought/vision arise in my mind of me meditating while the location rapidly changed around me, meditation halls, airports, buses, etc. Perhaps a premonition of my future as I now begin to go out and share the dhamma with others more regularly, but regardless as above this was a reminder that no matter where I am, where I’m going, I can always come back to home base and spend time in my “domain” as the Buddha called it.
This is actually not a new lesson for me, as I practiced this in lay life for years, always working on being mindful and aware in whatever I was doing, work or home. This is another continual reminder of the importance of making the practice your livelihood, part of who you are and how you live.
I asked Bhante G once how he kept up his practice while traveling to share the dhamma 8 months out of the year, and he said whenever he had a spare moment, he meditated. Ajahn Brahm said something similar. This last trip to NYC i had a lot of travel time and waiting, so I followed the advice of my elders.
The funny thing I found was that it was in some ways more peaceful and easier to meditate once I left Bhavana on the trip then in my daily life living there. I know simply that this is because of the responsibility I take in my mind for Bhavana and the people who visit, its a trap most monastics and residents fall into, but once I’ve been working with over the years. Going out to share dhamma is always a great experience, I learn a lot and get to practice in all kinds of conditions, but I also enjoy being at Bhavana, I’m still working on being equanimous, but I can see, perhaps just beyond the horizon, that it is possible.
So no matter where you are, your real home is with you wherever you go, this means you never have an excuse not to meditate or practice, at your desk at work, stopped at a convenience store, on a plane, wherever, your mind, body, and breath are there, just waiting for a visit, don’t forget to visit often!