Woman Ready to Trade Assets for Ashram
I’ve recently decided to sell all my assets and just go to an Ashram, without a plan to come back until I feel ready.
I have felt a desire to help people my whole life. But out of survival and the desire to be accepted by peers and family, I’ve worked jobs that I don’t like and have said yes to many situations that drain my energy and joy.
Depression and anger have snuffed out my ability to do anything I once enjoyed. And my body always aches.
Also, I have just met someone I care for here, and hope for the best. I’m really worried about selling everything and going into the unknown. I fear coming back without a car or a home, and possibly no money, no joy, nor helping others.
I have spent most of my 20s on the fringe and without much stability. Would it be stupid or irresponsible to cast myself into the sea again, without a known safety net?
All I know is that the way things have been going doesn’t work for me and it can’t go on!
Tired of Sinking
Have you ever lived among the impoverished? Have you ever made the joy you feel, when you do what you love?
What we mean is the way to make a living and the way to make a life are two different demands.
You may find that what you love to do will never make you a decent living. And then what you are good at doing that makes you a living never makes you happy.
This is because happiness and joy do not come from what you do for a living and never will.
You’ll get better at making joyful moments when you learn that happiness is made up of the joyful moments you create.
Why do babies cry? An analogy.
Babies cry because they can’t do anything.
They can’t feed themselves when they’re hungry, they can’t change their diapers when they’re wet, they can’t get warm when they’re cold, or cool when they’re hot, or drink when they’re thirsty.
They can’t even tell you if they are hurt or where it hurts.
Right now, you are a spiritual newborn.
Wax On, Wax Off
You may think that the pursuit of a higher calling is what will bring you joy, but Sondra will be the first to tell you she had to find joy before we would even allow her to move away from her former career.
She had to find the joy in the mundane. We wouldn’t even let her listen to the radio on her two-hour-a-day commute. We were teaching her to quiet her mind away from the world.
Joy is made in the thinking brain, first.
Eliminate thoughts that force you to work at being alive. Meticulously pluck and groom thoughts that keep you down, and under the world’s darkness, every hour of every day.
Joy has no hope of springing from you until you do.
Here’s what we recommend you do:
- Find work that sustains your living.
- Practice writing and praying until you hear and feel the presence of your God within.
- Make the habit and practice of returning to that God in the work you do to survive.
Once you’ve mastered these three things, you’ll be ready for service.
Until then, volunteer at animal shelters if you need reminding of how hard life can get. Bring joy to the tender lives of animals as you learn to bring joy to the mundane.
So, don’t leave home to find joy, nor God, nor spiritual retreat.
When you find spiritual retreat within you, you will learn the practice of monastic solitude needs only your rituals, not your wallet.