At the end of 2017, I set my intentions for 2018 from a Zen monastery.
My 3 intentions set, and refined over the course of the first half of 2018 are:
- To understand myself more deeply in order to become a better human being
- To find communities of resonance; holding spaces that are built on love and acceptance
- To explore how might I best contribute my gifts to make the world a slightly better place in my short lifetime
“Where attention goes, energy flows” — James Redfield
Much of 2018 has been exactly the above quote, living my aspirations into reality through the daily practice (and struggle) of being attentional and intentional.
And reality has unfolded in ways I could’ve never imagined- I now find myself at a liminal space. The word liminal comes from the Latin root word limen, which means “threshold”, the space between “what is” and “what will be”.
“…[a liminal space is] where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence… This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed.” — Richard Rohr
As I type this in the wee hours of 27 July 2018, I type this as a lay-person from the comfort of my hotel room in Bangkok- a familiar existence.
Come the afternoon of 27 July 2018, I will become a Novice Monk in the Plum Village tradition of Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh for 3 months. And yes, this includes the shaved head, robes, digital disconnection, and all. This emerging existence is not yet known to me, and evokes in me a mixed bag of emotions: fear, excitement, but above all resonance- it feels like I’m honouring who I am, and who I’m meant to be.
What lies at the other shore at the end of the 3 months?
Truly, I don’t, and can’t know right now.
I only know that I need to be fully where I am, to be with all that unfolds in my body, heart, and mind; to live my intention into being, as John O’Donohue so beautifully writes in “For the Interim Time”:
“[…]What is being transfigured here in your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.”
What I do know is that my commitment at the end of my 3 months as a novice monk is to share the insights and fruits of my experience with you.
I look forward to reconnecting with you, to celebrate with you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, and to live our unfolding lives into being, together.
I wish you happiness, peace, and fulfillment in all that you do.