Reentry – that’s what I call the process of returning to the everyday world after spending some time in a deep spiritual environment. It can be a difficult transition, even painful.
I spent 2 weeks at Ananda Village during the 40th anniversary celebration and the 4th of July. Swami Kriyananda returned to the Village during that time, after a long absence in India. Many people from Ananda colonies and around the world were there to greet him and take part in the festivities.
My daughter was with me and we stayed with friends in a group house in the Village. We lived like residents for two weeks, enjoying the company of many wonderful old friends and making new ones. It was very easy to be relaxed and comfortable – it felt like home away from home.
My son took part in the Living With Spirit program for young people, and he lived in a tent for 2 weeks. He felt at home too, among 25 other young people who spent their days serving, doing spiritual practices and soaking up the deep, divine consciousness that is in the air, water, and soil of Ananda Village.
It was difficult to pack up and leave – we wanted to keep feeling the joy of belonging to our spiritual family and keep opening to the flow of God’s grace that is so strong there.
But we had to go back to the rest of our family and our life in Portland. Whether coming home from a retreat, coming out of seclusion, or even out of meditation, we have to try and carry those deep experiences into the rest of our life.
I’ve had a lot of practice in reentry – transitions seem to be a specialty of mine. I know how to do it badly, with pain and suffering for all concerned. But I’m beginning to learn how to do it with more joy. The key is relaxing into whatever is happening, and not holding onto what I think God’s grace should look like.
We have been home 3 weeks now, and the friction of reentry is fading. But the experiences of being with great souls and feeling God’s presence with every breath, have not disappeared. Every deep experience feeds the soul and makes the longing for God stronger.
I’ll write more soon.
In divine friendship,