“What you seek is seeking you.” ~ Rumi
I try not to get too caught up in “spiritual hyperbole” – I’m just a man, maybe not a “normal” man, but a man nevertheless.
This is my story.
As a kid growing up, I seemed obsessed with finding the meaning of life.
Finally I thought I had found my home in religion. Yet it clouded the reality, and provided a short-term crutch. I kept finding holes in “God’s plan” and wondering why ethnic cleansing, hatred and oppression of women, was legitimised or worse, encouraged. Weaving through the strands of wisdom, I found weeds of despair and misery, and got lost in a hopeless abyss believing that God wanted me to suffer.
Ultimately, I realised that if you peel away the vessel or shrouding beyond which lies such magnanimity, mystery and power, you get largely an empty shell. Behind the facades of grand temples, cathedrals and religious monuments lies the same thing, ego…
And the same human frailties, deceit, corruption, abuse, sexual exploitation, addictions, etc.
After years of religious study, I finally realised that dogma and the resulting hypocrisy were anathema to me. I outgrew my religion; I outgrew religions per se.
I explored far and wide, experiencing and studying:
Retreats into nature
Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis & Core Energetics
Veganism & Rawfoodism
Equine (horse) Therapy
Shamanism, Habbib & Kahuna
Psychic readings & tarot cards
Past life regressions
Tai Chi & Qi Gong Yoga
Many types of massage & bodywork
Finally, I came to realise that my religion is mine to fashion out of dreams, thoughts and stardust. As Milarepa said, “My religion is to live and die without regret.”
I found a new freedom in a few chosen wonderful philosophies and profound practices that truly have lifelong value for me – including yoga, qi gong, loving kindness, Buddhist meditation and kirtan, and creative pursuits like painting, writing, journaling and photography.
I don’t regret having taking this path. Without some sort of earnest seeking and exploration, one is spiritually dead. The more one searches, the closer one comes to discovering.
The more I expanded my being by exploring the world, the more I grew in confidence and knowledge. I began to know God.
I began to know myself.
The more I began to know myself, the more it seemed my calling got louder and louder, until it would start to wake me up in the middle of the night like thunder.
I am here as a messenger to explore and learn, teach and grow.
I have a confession to make.
I love to wander. To you it may seem aimless. To my soul, it’s a form of freedom from the stale and tedium of being in the same place and doing the same things repetitively for a while. It’s my soul’s cry and necessity.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” ~ JRR Tolkien
You can judge me all you want, yet following the flame of my soul is a way to liberation. If it sounds too sound selfish or narcissistic, I’m sorry! Freedom is mine for the taking.
Choosing to be free is not a lifelong decision. A nomadic lifestyle can be short-term. I could get married and have kids tomorrow, or the next day!
A spiritual nomad generally feels deeply, and seeks some sort of deeper solace or purpose to existence. They may find that their soul compels them to go on a journey, even unwillingly at times. They are forced to grow beyond themselves in order to investigate and understand the inner and outer worlds.
There is one persistent fallacy – that a person who chooses to opt out of a mainstream life – is escaping something. I am not escaping anything (except the occasional boredom); just following my soul’s calling.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watts
A spiritual nomad gains much from the people and experiences he calls into his life – he is always learning and teaching about life.
“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu
A true spiritual nomad seeks to capture each moment frozen in his memory banks, so his concentration is focused on being present. The way we do one thing, is the way we do everything (the origins of the action dictate the result).
When will I arrive? I don’t know!
Perhaps never, today or tomorrow? Perhaps you could invite me over for tea?
I am a spiritual nomad…
Photo Credit: (?) (No copyright Infringement Intended.)
About the Author: David G Arenson ND
David is the founder of Shambhala Retreats. A Naturopath, Intuitive Healer and Transformational Coach, David writes and educates people internationally at some of the world’s leading retreats and resorts. Born in South Africa, his work has taken him to Australia, USA, Middle East, Asia, Caribbean since 2002. A lover of wisdom and master healer specializing in holistic wellness, his retreats and wellness programs are focused on transformation. David is committed to inspiring and empowering people to live the lives of their dreams. David’s mission via Shambhala Retreats is to guide people to places of mystery and power to rediscover, balance and ground themselves.