A Spiritual Life?

There’s this idea that following a more spiritual path in life, becoming a monk or a priest or something, is somehow easier than getting married, having kids, and buying a house.

prayer flags

This came up recently in a conversation, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard the idea. In fact it’s something I used to think myself, that those who follow an alternative, more spiritual, path are somehow taking the easy option. But when I look into it further I don’t see why I thought that way.

I suppose it’s the idea that they’re giving up their free will somehow. That they’re allowing some unseen force to provide for them, making their decisions based upon ‘God’s will’ or ‘the Tao’.

But in my experience that’s not what they’re doing at all. They’re living their life according to a set of values, values that restrict their activities somehow (often making it hard to live a ‘normal’ life) and are often difficult to live up to. And the decision making is still there, more than ever in fact, as each day they have to choose to turn to the path moment by moment rather than allow themselves to drift away from it (which would be a much easier thing to do).

beginning buddhism

Yes it’s true, not having to work 60 hours a week to pay the mortgage and keep your kids in sneakers seems like a great life. But imagine giving up the security that having your own home, savings, and someone to share the burden with brings you: No back up plan, no assets you can sell, just you and the clothes on your back and the road ahead, wherever it may lead. Put like that doesn’t the spiritual life seem a little more daunting?

I know I couldn’t do it, not yet anyway. I still like the security of money in the bank. And I want to have kids some day. But I like the idea of giving up material possessions, and the worry they bring you, and instead spending my time meditating and seeking the path to enlightenment. And maybe I will some day. I just have a few things I need to do first.

And how’s this for a final thought; if following a spiritual path is so much easier how come everybody isn’t doing it? Do we choose the ‘harder’ life? And if so, why?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Dramas not withstanding, this could be my last post of the year, so I wanted to take the chance to wish you all a very merry christmas.

snowy globes

Just got back from visiting my family for an early christmas (I’m working 24th to 26th again this year :(). Took the train as I bought my new car a bit too late to drive up, and I already had the train tickets. Probably a wise move considering the amount of snow we’re getting at the moment. Anyone who says we’re not experiencing climate change I offer you exhibit A: the weather outside.

Mum made some lovely date cake using the egg replacer I’d left there last year, and I knocked up a nut roast on Sunday which mum and dad both had a go at, so there was plenty to eat. I also got to have a few fry-ups as well as a chick pea stew thing that mum and I concocted.

Came back first class again, but properly this time, not like last year where it was a weekend upgrade. This time I got free tea, a free hot meal, and a peaceful carriage with a big comfy chair. It was bliss. I tell you, I don’t want to get all elitist, but first class is the way to go.

Looking forward to 2011: A new year, and a new beginning. A new way of making money is definitely called for, and to facilitate that I’ll probably need a new place to live for a while too (somewhere cheaper, probably outside of London). I know what I want in my life, and what I need to move away from. And someone to share it all with would be lovely too, but that kind of thing seems to happen when you’re not looking, so what can you do? 😉

Expect big things from me next year, I know I do! ‘Til then, have a marvelous christmas and a fantastic new year.

Cheers y’awl! 🙂

30 Days of Kiki : day 14

day 14- a picture of you and your family

Don’t have many family portraits, the old ‘taking them not in them’ scenario, but here’s a few for you to check out, starting with one I am actually in.

the whole shebang

Taken at my twin brother’s wedding. From the left we have my mum and dad, Katie the bride’s brother’s girlfriend, my twin Paul and his missus Tracey, Me, my niece Emma, and Tracey’s mum and dad.

mum & dad

Just another one of my mum and dad, taking photos at the wedding.

going ape

And finally a pic of Paul and Tracey, at the bottom, and my brother Tony with his daughter Emma (and his wife Donna behind the tree trunk) doing Go Ape. 🙂

Week 27: In which our hero really loses track of time

I had this really cool start to this entry all worked out. It went like this:

52 x 7 = 364.
Half of 52 is 26.
Week 26 = Half of 2010.

Then I was going to do a summation of where I was at the half way point of 2010. Only thing is, half way was last week! I totally missed it!!!

As I said then, I’m having a bit of trouble keeping track of time at the moment, but losing an entire week! Man, that’s bad.

Still, no reason I can’t do the summation now. A week late, but still relevant. So, done one or two new things so far this year – had a go in a floatation tank, saw my first musical as well as a few other shows, got into tiltshifting, I gave up booze, did a few other experiments in going without, was featured in Ask A Vegan, had lots of fun with new tunes, and won the lotto – but not an amazing amount considering how much time I’ve had.

Still, it’s all good practice, and you can’t moon over what has gone before. Onwards and upwards my valiant friends. Hence forth, I shall re-double my efforts to do new things. I shall do more cooking (34 recipes produced so far), I shall do more writing (some progress made on a number of ideas but not enough really), and I shall endeavour to remember why I started this thing in the first place (a house, a family, an interesting job, and a dog).

So, the plan is, one proper new thing a week, at least one new recipe each week, a movie recommendation each week, and hopefully some writing or something each week. Could be a bit of a tall order, but if I plan it properly I reckon I can do it. I’ve had my ‘holiday’ as it were, these last few weeks doing not much but reading and lazing about, so now it’s time to go to work.