Radical Change, Giving it All Away, and the Happiness of Travel — 5 Organizations to Help You on Your Road to Redemption

Posted by - January 18, 2011 | Category: Library

Swami Strikes a Pose“The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle,
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down”

“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.

saintbenedict.org — If Buddha’s not your thing, then maybe Jesus will make you sing. This site has info for both guys and gals that are interested in becoming a Benedictine monk. There’s also an eHow page explaining the basics.
swamij.com — Want to become a swami instead?  This site will lay it all our for you.  Well, at least it tries. I know there’s medititation and renunciation involved, but honestly, the tantric yoga bit was the part that caught my eye.
vocation-network.org — The sleekest, most user-friendly of all the sites I explored, this Catholic-run website  starts you off with a simple questionnaire to find your best faith fit. Just click on the “match” button to answer questions on your ideal community and prayer life, and find which of the 250 religious communities is right for you. They’ve even got a Facebook page, and you can follow them on Twitter.  Smooth.
apath.org — Okay, so it wouldn’t be a very fair article if I didn’t show a differing viewpoint, and say what you will, but this guy delivers. Brian Gallagher offers his hilarious How to Create Your Own Religion in 10 Easy Steps (also available in PDF format). Take a quick scan if all this higher power talk has actually lowered your endorphin levels — the chuckle will surely give them a boost.
They say every journey starts with just one step, but even if your path is not as radical as any of those listed here, I wish you luck where ever your path takes you.

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6 comments - add one
  1. Interesting direction you took with this post. From the title I was expecting the typical ‘vagabonding’ type story but you made it much more interesting. One thing’s for sure though…..if you’re looking to break out, no website needed. Log Off and Live!

  2. Truly very interesting and very informative! Love that song from Alanis! Thanks for reminding me something good with that song. Hope this could inspire others as well, as much as you have inspired me. Love this:

    “every journey starts with just one step, but even if your path is not as radical as any of those listed here, I wish you luck where ever your path takes you.”

    That’s soooo true, Raymond! We will never know what we’ve got or what awaits at the end of the tunnel if we wont start and do a step in every choice in our lives. Small or big steps? it doesnt matter. What matters is how well we handle our life and the journey in everyday.

    Kudos! Hope to see more inspiring posts from you.

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