“Thank-U” — Alanis Morissette
Ever think of giving it all away? Giving up all your worldly possessions and having an other-worldly experience? I have days like that sometimes. What would it be like, I wonder? Selling my big screen TV and all those books and that crappy little Suzuki and giving it all up for God? Or Buddha, or Allah, or even Elvis for that matter. Maybe “giving it all away” is not the right term at all. Maybe “getting it all together” is the better term. I’m sure folks who have gone through this sort of metamorphosis would use words to that effect instead. I guess you never really know until you grab the bible by the horns and take metaphysical matters into your own hands.
I just finished watching a documentary called Poverty, Chastity, Obedience about Joanne O’Regan — a 35 year old woman who drinks, smokes, and curses and can no longer deny her relationship with God. So she comtemplates becoming a nun. I’m not a religious person, but found her struggle the same as perhaps a lot of us have — approaching mid-life, still have not found our niche, and can no longer silence the nagging little voice that says, “There has to be more than this.”
One thing she said really struck a chord. Speaking about not fitting in, she said that she was knew she meant to live a radical life, but was unsure what form that would take. See yourself in there? There are, I am quite certain, many long-term road warriors who fit the same description. The nomadic lifestyle of the traveler has a lot of the same parallels. Radical in the eyes of many, but “touching down” in our own. And at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters? Happiness takes many forms, and I’m glad mine involves devotion to the road.
If however, your bliss involves devotion to a higher power, here are 5 organizations to get you started on your own road to redemption.
dhammadana.org — Instruction on how to become a Buddhist bhikku, or monk. Takes you through the steps required (you need a bowl, three robes, and belt to be considered), the 10 precepts, and the integration procedure (non-humans and those with boils need not apply). Also has instructions on how to go back to your pre-monk life if you decide it’s not for you.