Have you ever noticed how many phrases pop to the mind when you hear the word home?
Home sweet home
Home is where the heart is
Home on the range
There’s no place like home
You can never really go home
Home away from home
The lights are on, but nobody is home
Bring home the bacon
For a more expansive list click here.
Yesterday’s meditation reading was about turning inward and how the practice of yoga, like all other spiritual practices, looks to find answers that we ultimately come to find within ourselves. Gates compares this idea to Dorothy traveling to Oz and finding that she could have returned home at any time. Everything, he describes, comes full circle.
The idea of a circle was what I first held tightest to and decided to use as my object for meditation. There are a lot of different ways to perform meditation, but for me, I find that an object tends to hold my attention the longest. I sat for 10 minutes with the idea of a circle in front of my mind’s eye and cultivated the promising thoughts that came with it while discarding the nonsense that floated through. This is how meditation really works. It’s not an emptying of the mind per se, it’s more of a
focusing and training of the mind to understand what’s going on in there and to sort things accordingly. So, there I sat, focused on a circle, but not the kind that gives you images of the Ring, because that kind of meditation would give you night mares!
I started to wonder about the phrase, “You can never really go home.” And I started to think about where I consider home to be. Currently I live in North Carolina. I moved here 6 years ago this coming August with an intent of staying up to 5 years at the job I moved here for. I planned to move from then to wherever the next great job took me and to continue on the path on which I was headed. However, I left that job after only 10 months and went back to school. Just before starting school I met my now husband and just before graduating I had our first son. I don’t think North Carolina is my forever home, but my husband (and now both of my children) are “from here”, so it seems more definite now than anything else.
I am from Iowa, but I’m not sure I would call that place home either. My mom still lives in the house in which I grew up, but it’s different now. The dishwasher we got her for Mothers’ Day when I was 15 is no longer sitting in the garage and the shag carpet and matching drapes (I mean really thick fabric drapes) have been torn up and replaced. There is different furniture there and the room I slept in is now my mom’s room. There’s a shower upstairs that we use instead of the one in the basement that was essentially some pipes on the wall next to our washer and dryer with some bricks around the bottom to keep the water in and a shower curtain strung up. My family is mostly in Iowa still, but there is not much else that would tie me to that place.
When I lived in Colorado I thought it would be home. Of all of the places I have lived it is the place that felt most natural to me. But, my first marriage ended there and since leaving 6 years ago, only one of my friends from there still remains there. So, despite the call of the mountain air to me, Colorado is not home.
Each morning I roll over to see a 3 1/2 year old set of bright and full of life eyes staring back at me. And the little man attached to them shouts proudly, “I didn’t pee in my bed.” Then, I congratulate him, tell him how proud I am of him, ask him to speak softly, and slide over so he can snuggle with me until I’m ready to get up or I hear his brother crying from the other side of the house. This is home to me. It could be in any other city in the world, in any other house, but this is home…my family.
I don’t know if this is the right or the wrong answer. Eventually those two little boys will grow up and move out and start families of their own. I may have to redefine where home is when that happens, but for now they and my husband are home. The best home I’ve ever known.
The meditation for Day One also asks, “Why yoga? And why now?”. My husband asks a similar question of me often, “Why is it so important to eat organic now?”. I think the answer is the same. Because yoga is just a practice of what has always been and organic is what food was before we messed with it.
My last thought on this meditation comes from the Benjamin Lorr book: “comparing yourself to others is both an inevitable part of community and a positive one: instead of competition, I’d call it learning from others. Meaning we learn from others what is possible and then apply it to our own lives. In the best-case scenario, they, in turn, do the same thing with your life.” p.67
All in all I see the definition of community also being a definition of family and builds on my first statement yesterday about how to make the world a better place. Where is your home? How do you define it? How do you go about seeking out the answers to the questions you have? Do you find those answers come mostly from within? Is your circle complete?