I notice it's been over a year since I last posted here. That may change now.
I think I just needed to clear my system. I've been doing the usual forum posting over at Lightmind, but let's be honest, it's just habit keeping me going there, and probably a bad habit at that. Now that Tom is shutting things down over there, I've been forced to face up to this, and think about what I want to do. One possibility is to just stop messing around on the internet entirely. Or, get involved with the new Ning sites that are opening up. I wonder, however, if it's just time for me to stop playing the back and forth games I get into on forums. I don't think it does me much good anymore, and my life is going through changes that make most of that kind of dialog obsolete. So the question is, what suits me now?
I turned 50 last week, and it's clear to me that my life is moving in a different direction. I've always kept in mind the fact that my life has reflected, at least in a general sense, the Vedic stages of life, which is composed of four distinct phases of spiritual practice: Brahmacharya, Householder, Hermitage, and Sanyas, each reputedly lasting 25 years. My first 25 years of life were clearly a Brahmacharya phase. I became strongly interested in spirituality when I was 13, and oriented myself towards that kind of disciplined life all the way through my youth. At 25, I met my wife, settled down, had a family, earned a living, and lived my spiritual practice in a householder setting. I've been aware for years that my householder life is coming to an end, and that means I would soon begin the "Hermitage" phase of life.
And low and behold, that's been happening quite spontaneously. Events have led me to live in a forest setting in Humboldt County, living on a rural property in the redwoods, ten acres nicely fenced and private, with few neighbors, all the seclusion I need, and yet all the basic amenities of an ordinary life. My kids have gone off to college, and though they still visit regularly, my wife and I are very much on our own now. I still work of course, but I do so at home, keeping my own schedule, and I have a great deal of freedom to do as I like. What I find I like, is to simply settle into a form of spiritual practice that is natural and sattvic.
So what I've been thinking of doing is simply keeping a blog that describes my spiritual practice in this "hermitage" context, and my thoughts about spirituality altogether, and whatever else seems relevant. For several years I have been experienting with Self-enquiry, and studying it, and trying to put it into practice, and I think it would be interesting to put my experiment with it into this blog, especially now that it feels like I can settle into this practice in a more dedicated and undistracted way. Some people might find that interesting, and might offer some helpful hints as well. But I don't think I want to get into the kinds of debating exchanges that I've had on the forums out there. I'm not interested in promoting anything, or arguing anything. I think I've had my fill of that, and I don't think I want to perpetuate those inclinations any more. They've served their usefullness, and now it's time to move on.
So I think I will experiment with this blog again, and see if I can turn it into something that is useful for me. I doubt it will be very interesting to many other people, unless they have a strong interest in Self-enquiry and related practices and considerations. I plan to be immensely boring to everyone else. Don't say you weren't warned. Of course, I don't think anyone is reading this blog anyway. Blogger reports that I get about 4 hits a day, and that's probably just accidental surfers.
So let the wild rumpus begin! Okay, maybe not so wild, and not much of a rumpus. Just a quiet place to talk about the practice of self-enquiry.