“There’s a difference,” he says to me, “between choosing a monastic path,” with these words he gestures to his silver robes, “and almost being forced into it due to isolation.”
I agree with him. We’ve been talking a lot about devotion lately, about what it means and how events of the past have completely skewed my perspective towards the literal and extreme, the must-always-be-doing-or-you-have-failed. The spiritwork discourse didn’t help.
He does his best to explain what it means to him, and I listen. He talks about community, his brothers and his family. He talks about his songs–he has a beautiful voice when he sings–and his books and beekeeping.
“But there’s nothing about giving up the outside world.” He picks one of the roses off the bush and runs his fingers over the petals, deep in thought. “Your world has very different ideas of devotion than mine does.”
“Then we’ll work together to understand those differences.”