The opportunity to take vows as a monk was offered a week after the beneficial and extremely powerful Eastern Medicine course in Toronto with John. Becoming a monk for a month after this experience and prior to taking vows in marriage seemed like a gift to be received. The tradition of meditation I took vows in was a form of Guru Yoga that uses a mantra (sound of sacred syllables) to ignite one's own wisdom. A monk in all of its formalities and rituals offered a glance into me I rarely had access to, the mind in its uninhibited expression of chaos, suffering, and peace.
The formal Shami and Shamini program (novice monk/nun- meaning termination of negative action) was offered over a 1 week program and I resided at Jing Ye temple near Beijing for an extra 3 weeks for a self-retreat. The month turned out to be a life changing and very insightful journey. Surprisingly, the demanding program of taking formal precepts in 'right living' as a monastic, have assisted me in igniting a more mindful and fulfilling experience in mundane life.
Prior to the program, for many years, struggle was my constant companion. This included ongoing kundalini expressions of various levels, my lifestyle was fairly isolated and it would appear to some extent that I was living the life of a monk in a lay persons clothes. The inner conflict arising during this period needed the foundation of simplicity as its guiding principle, including no alcohol, limited intimacy, simple diet and other restricted lifestyle choices. I experienced internal and external support through the process and trusted the mind had access to an intelligence that had my best interest at heart.
Ironically, in taking vows to abstain from 'worldly pleasures' I realized I was learning to enjoy living and the pleasures of the world again except this time with less attachment. One realization I came to after completing my month was that renunciating pleasures of the mundane world was not going to lead to enlightenment(from my perspective), but developing non-attachment to them was. This was one of the 'Aha' moments I am realizing and also includes: life is good just as it is!
The other precious experience during the month was that my commitment and direction in BodyTalk deepened tremendously. BodyTalk was a significant component to the mental and physical transformation that was occurring while residing at the temple. I would complete meditation and seamlessly shift in to Bodytalk on myself. My clarity, healing and experiencing of my truth resulted from the dynamic interplay of meditation and BodyTalk, as they would continuously support and enhance one another.
So at the end of it all upon returning home, I'm slowly learning that I needed to take the precepts of purity in Dharma within the temple to provide the clarity and strength to return home and live possibly a more dharmic life here as well, but even more noticeably, a more relaxed and enjoyable life in all areas. I quietly chuckle at myself with the experience that there really is nothing else to do. In others words life or happiness is not as complicated as I made it out to be.
Yours in BodyTalk and Dharma