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This year versus 2003

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Feb. 26th, 2013 | 07:34 am

I've been thinking about writing but have put it off because I have been so busy. Today I have a little bit more open space in my schedule, so I'll jot down a few thoughts.

One of the things that has occurred to me, as I have returned to my Sufi "roots" as it were (not that they are that deep), is that it may be the case that I am seeking to restore some kind of normalcy after the chaos of the last several years, beginning in 2003 when I met X, and then went on my first Amma retreat.

When I think back on my time in New Haven, I recall that I was always surrounded by friends. College, of course, makes that easy. Then, after college, I had social contacts through the local gay bars and through work. After that, in Atlanta, my partner and I had friends that we had met through a gay couples group, and I met people in the gay Muslim scene, as well as eventually finding a local tariqat circle.

Those kinds of opportunities simply have not existed here. True, my partner has made some friends through church (including X, haha), and we spend time with his family. To be honest, however, none of these social contacts is very interesting to me. I put up with them because (I tell myself) it's good for me to get out now and then, or to have guests at home every once in a while. But these are not fulfilling social contacts for me.

Perhaps I put up with the bullshit I did with X, and with Y, and in trying to make a firm commitment to Amma-centered spiritual practices and to the satsang (that had formerly been local, and then relocated to a place an hour or so away), because I was looking for a "spiritual" place in which to belong socially. It seems that I just have to accept that there is no such place for me in this location and that I need to avoid fantasizing about it or running after opportunities to escape the isolation that is my fate here.

I returned to the practice of salat briefly in 2010, significantly around the time that I took a trip to PA to visit the colombarium where my mother's ashes are stored. But then I tried to find ways to give Hinduism another go. Upon this most recent return to salat, however, I am feeling a gradual rebuilding of some kind of energy body. It is as if, in my efforts to be open to social and spiritual opportunities back in 2003, I let down my defenses by letting go of my established spiritual practices, with results that are by now well know to the people closest to me. I feel ambivalent about that. On the one hand, I think that that adventure was necessary as a critique of my former identification with Sufism, which was perhaps a little too neat and tidy. On the other hand, the confrontations with the dark sides of human nature that resulted do not need to form a permanent dwelling place. Reality testing is fine, but ultimately one needs to make some decisions about how one wishes to live one's life, provided one still has the means to do so.



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from: mysticactive
date: Feb. 26th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)

what you describe reminds me very much of my experience in holland. I felt that by choosing to live tehre for three years I had basically chosed a kind of spiritual-emotional starvation and couldnt change my commitments. although it may be a small consolation, I did some of the best spiritual work I ahve ever done over the internet in that period and had significantly life changing experiences that way. I can tell you more some time but it included things that led to me coming out to my father and starting down the track of working personally and academically in the theme of traditional healing. lots of good came from it. I also wrote more. there is something somewhere for your thirst, most likely.

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