The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Video: Spirituality Is your Walk Alone in the Woods

It is great to be part of spiritual communities and gatherings but truly, what we call the spiritual journey is an entirely solo undertaking. There are no companions, no traveling partners on the path.

And it is in that alone space that intelligence blossoms, awareness grows… inner transformation occurs.

I also believe there comes a time in every human’s life when they decide to walk the path alone. And whenever that happens, the timing is perfect.

Whole Selves

Being comfortable in company is a skill. It requires the grace of silence and economy of words. Most women, I think, are groomed from childhood to be social and sociable beings. We are constantly extending ourselves to make the other feel welcome and comfortable in social settings.

And that’s how it becomes a performance. We see our mothers and aunts performing, and we take their cue and learn the steps, tweaking them as we go along.

You know that gregarious, charming and cheerful woman who seems to be everywhere, talking to everyone? I am willing to bet that she is a hidden introvert, performing and performing all her life, exhausted and drained. Talking, laughing, eager to fill up gaps in conversation, constantly guarding against the awkward silences, and so on… These are the signs.

Now, if we were to show up in the world as our natural selves, it would be less taxing. We are quieter individuals, less inclined to mingle and talk, and the world needs to see this. We need to model this to girls and younger women, so they start embracing and expressing their natural orientation. And there’d be no more performing.

Of course, this is a major act of courage and deconditioning. Some of us have got so good at performing that we don’t/can’t stop. And we have become adept at fooling everyone including ourselves.

But it’s so worth it, I tell you. Let’s bring our whole selves to the world.

Catch the Balls

Give a voice to the voiceless, if only a whisper,
Lend support to the sad and lonely, if only a shoulder,
Share strength with the weak, if only a breath or two,
Fret not or wonder if any of this matters, even a little bit.

Because what you have engaged in is not an act of charity.

It’s an exchange, and what you send along will come back,
Through another’s hands, another’s bony shoulder,
A handkerchief to sop up the tears, a comforting voice on the other end of a cracked phone screen.

These are gifts, countless and endless and nameless,
Circling the Earth, dispersed in the Ether, filling up the airwaves.

We want to give, we would like to help… we wish to express.

It isn’t mine to give, or yours to take,
It is ours to pass along.

Stay where you are, move a bit, adjust a little,
Catch the ball, throw it right back,
Be a player, get better at responding.

All we need is a good wind, a skyful of stars, and the balls keep coming our way.

Girls Departing

Girls departing
in silver-grey Merc-Benz cars, sometimes chubby Ambassadors, white and solid.
A rented vehicle maybe, a scarlet red Hyundai, sometimes.
Or a flashy Porsche, bedecked in flowers and streamers,
A shiny convertible?

(No, it’s never that kind of fun for us.)

We leave behind our mothers and dads and younger siblings
As they step into other vehicles.
I sit in mine, surrounded by strangers, one of them more familiar than the others.

I look back, the cars have left already.

I am on my own
In a car that’s all new, with a family that’s all new.

Girls depart to new homes, bearing new names and identities,
New clothes, old jewelry, new ideas, old theories.