|We are ready for a forest retreat.|
Our home is near empty - it echoes when Linda and I laugh or shout with joy - oy - oy - oy...
I feel like I am preparing for the third stage of the Four Stages of Life in Hinduism. I am not a Hindu, but did develop an interest in all things Indian after spending several months there.
In the Hindu stages of life, which is seen as more of an ideal today rather than prescribed, a person is in the Student stage until age 25. The emphasis is on learning and practice. All the student needs, more or less, is a backpack.
Then the Householder stage begins. The material goods to support and nurture a family must be acquired during this phase.
At age 50 (a milestone I passed 2 years ago) one prepares for the third stage which is the Hermit in Retreat.
After raising a family, the focus of this stage is to remove one's self from the material pleasures of life to make room for intense personal development. The Hermit In Retreat can finally return to the backpack that was set aside at the end of the student life 25 years previously.
After a time of being a hermit in the forest, the final phase of Hindu life begins. This is the Wandering Recluse stage, or as I call it, "The Shoebox" stage of life.
The Recluse has no home, no stuff, no attachment. They have renounced all desires, fears and hopes, duties and responsibilities.
The sole concern is living in conjunction with the Universe, and to do this all you need is a piece of cloth to cover your body, and a begging bowl from which to eat.
It helps to live in a warm climate - imate - imate - imate...