On Friday morning, I’m setting off to the second week-long residential course block for my Buddhist psychotherapy training with the Amida Trust.
I’m still seeking space.
The internet is very clever at filling in my space. There are always emails arriving, blog posts to be written, comments to reply to, Amazon rankings to check. I leave it on when I’m downstairs reading, and pop upstairs every so often to see what’s happening on Facebook. I know, it’s tragic.
My friend Lynsey challenged me to leave my laptop at home when I go away. LEAVE IT AT HOME? Was she mad? I could keep it under my bed like I did last time, and check my email at lunch times. I could keep on top of everything. I could stay ‘plugged in’ to the world.
She’s right, of course. Leaving it at home is the best gift I can give to myself right now. When I use the internet like that, I’m not plugging into the world, I’m pulling away. I’m avoiding what’s waiting for me in the spaces. The restlessness, the doubts, the insecurity. Who knows what else.
I hope I might find out next week. I’ll be surrounded by old friends and new, and Jodo, Sharry, Zen, and the fourth resident cat who’s name escapes me. I’ll be wearing big jumpers and sipping mint tea in the garden. I’ll be sitting as part of a group, looking at the faces of my fellow bombu human beings, and feeling safe.
When I return, I need to negotiate a different relationship with the internet. I’m not sure what it will look like, or how I’ll manage it, but I’m looking forward to a new chapter. Wish me luck.
Much gratitude again to the most wonderful whiskey river for finding the words (written by Annie Dillard this time) that say exactly what I want to say about myself. That’s what the best writers do.
Have wonderful weeks. I’ll be back. I hope you miss me, but Ruth will be here in my absence : )
“The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock – more than a maple – a universe.”