What Is Your Place Of Refuge?
Ever since consciousness dawned on man, caves have been used as places to connect with the greater dimension of life. The Buddha himself spent many years in caves in Northern India, both before and after his enlightenment. Last February, during Shantum Seth‘ In the Footsteps of the Buddha pilgrimage, I had the great privilege to visit several of the caves where the Buddha meditated and talked. One cave in particular, alongside the windy path up Vulture Peak, made a lasting impression. I remember huddling inside with my fellow pilgrims, and all of us sitting for an impromptu meditation. For a short while, I wrestled with the uneven stone that served as my seat. And then, at once, a sudden feeling a absolute stillness, and an energy field beyond the world of thoughts and ordinary emotions. Hard to put in words really, and a most beautiful experience, that was corroborated by others afterwards.
Back home, I have my own cave. A place where I can retreat whenever I am not alone in the house, and I want to meditate, uninterrupted. Not as dramatic as the Buddha’s cave, but good enough: the walking closet next to my bedroom.
This morning, sitting in there, I reached a place of deep calmness, not unlike what I had experienced in the Buddha’s cave. Oh! the joy. I could have sat there for a very long time. Half-way through, the sound came, of my daughter calling for me. “Mom!” . . . “Mom!” . . . “Mom!” many times over. This was not an emergency, I could tell from her voice. In my cave, I stayed, perfectly silent and still, and waited until the bell rang to resume my motherly duties. She wanted to know, “how do I bleach my shirt?”
Do you have a cave, a place you can retreat to, when you want to be alone with yourself? I would love to hear.
Other posts on same topic, that I have enjoyed:
– ‘Meditation for the Working-Class Family Folks‘ by John Pappas
– ‘Family Life As Practice‘ by John Makransky
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 597 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 13 shares Learn Social Media, Writing, Editing & Journalism Ethics with elephantjournal.com. 1 share The Real Reason so many Long-term Relationships Fail Sexually. 975 shares Trevor Noah just won my Respect. 2,567 shares Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 993 shares December Forecast: Letting Go of 2016 & Leaning into 2017 with Love. 7,476 shares Why a Year of No Dating was the Best Thing I ever did for Myself. 7,572 shares These Tweets (and Retweets) actually Happened. 1,391 share