Today was the opening retreat of Term Student. Term Student is a thing that we do in my Zen Buddhism lineage in the Autumn to dig a little deeper into our practice. It begins with an all day meditation retreat and ends, a few months later with another retreat. Part of what we do is talk about our karmic, spiritual, or factual history. Kind of as a way of getting to know each other, but also as a way of making connections within ourselves. I love this time of digging deeper because I always learn new things about myself.
As people were talking about their lives I realized something important about myself. And now that I am thinking about it it seems pretty obvious, but I will write about it anyway. 🙂
It has always been very important to me to have a community of friends in my life, and indeed, I’ve always figured out how to make this happen for myself. From the time I was a child, hanging out with my little gang from the neighborhood, to now, with my posse of film photography and pinhole photography buddies from around the world. And in my spiritual life, a lot of what has attracted me to various practices has been community. Community and connection with other humans is what drives me creatively. I believe that when one is expressing themselves creatively they do so for the benefit and to communicate with others as a kind of soul to soul communication. When I am in a state of depression, the lie that my brain pelts me with is, “People don’t like you. You are unloved.” Depression tells me this lie because connection is one of my highest values, if not the highest. I am crazy introverted, but I long to connect with community. My soul needs it like my body needs water.
I feel like this is an important insight. Like I said, it seems obvious now that I’ve noticed it, but for some reason I’ve never been able to really see it as something that is so important.
And on that note, this is my 100th post in my “100 days” project for 2017. I think this is a great way to end this project. I have enjoyed my daily ritual of posting here everyday, as always. But it is time for a little break. You know I will be back very soon though. 🙂 I can never stay away long.