A Day Pass from the Monastery

Several years ago I spent a few days at a wilderness monastery.  The Brothers ran a thrift store in the town which was about a two hour drive from their community.  I was sitting in the library one day as the two Brothers who were to drive into town to staff the store for the day were being briefed on their journey.  It was amusing at the time to hear the rules of the road as it were.  Looking back I am in a much better place to appreciate the situation.

There are many times when I leave my own house and step out into the world without considering the rules of the road.  Leaving my own “monastery” can be quite jolting at times.  A good example happened a few nights ago.  I decided to go out in the evening for a bite to eat.  As I was driving I was thinking about what I had eaten during the day and what I thought my body would need this evening.  The Brothers would only eat a very light supper around four in the afternoon.  The noon meal was the main meal of the day.  I felt very centered and decided that I only really needed a bowl of soup.  I went to a local market that has a good café.  Coming from my centered and contemplative place I entered and was shocked by the energies of the masses and the loud noises and music.  I came to realize that night that I also need rules for the road for leaving my house and the monastery that I have created.

As contemplative people we could most likely all benefit from a set of rules for the road.  The shock of moving about our day will be lessened if we keep in mind that the world outside is quite different than the world we have created for ourselves inside and vastly different than our intimate interior worlds.

Remember: Rules for the Road

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