As travel days go, today was short and easy. Three hundred eighty-five miles, total travel time including lunch, 7 hours. And not even a full tank of gas. The car is usually good for 425 or more per tank, and I filled up last night in Vicksburg.
I've been back awhile. Adjusting to the humidity and the sheer comfort of being home again. Makes me wonder how I'm really going to do with the fact of not having a home to go back to after a journey, an adventure. Gave a lot of thought to this whole scheme today -- with no particular answers.
An answer exists. I just have to find it. I don't believe it is going to be in Austin, for several reasons. It's a lovely place with lovely people, no question about it. But is it the right place for me to learn and grow in my practice? I don't think so. And that is, after all, the purpose of all this effort. To find a place to grow in my practice.
My body is also glad, I think, to be back to the food it considers 'normal'. I enjoyed the Burmese food, with a few exceptions (my old bugaboo bitter melon for one, and fish sauce or paste for another), but my body had very different perceptions and feelings on the subject. I feel as if I must have gained a ton of flab, and that's not a trend I want to continue. Although tasty, the food was largely refined carbs (white rice and noodles) with meat or veggie swimming in oil-based sauces. Jiggly belly fat is the inevitable result of that kind of diet, especially when one has no real exercise or form of exercise. I could have walked around the property, or down the road, I suppose, but I'm not sure that would have helped much. Now, I just have to diet and work it off.
Still, despite the 1847 total miles, I'm glad I went. It's the only way to find out, after all. And even though it doesn't sound like a 'home' for me, it was a wonderful experience. Monday night as I was taking leave of the abbot in the pagoda, he asked me to come back any time, and next time to fly, not drive. He said they would meet me at the airport. Hard to beat that sort of kindness -- and that kindness came to me from everyone there, not just the abbot. The cat was a bit skittish, but even he came around eventually.
So now my task is to rest up and get ready for Bhavana in a few weeks -- and also to keep looking for 'the answer'. Somehow, it always points me back to California, to Aranya Bodhi, but I've yet to figure out how to make that one work.
It's a good thing I don't have a deadline for figuring this out!
A work in progress
4 months ago