Feeling not quite at home

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed (again) the sense of not quite belonging to any one group or place or role or position in life. And there are several good reasons for this.

First, it is that way, I assume, for all of us. As who we are, or take ourselves to be (this human self/soul), we are far too rich and diverse to fit nicely into any one group. Some parts of us fit and are nurtured and acknowledged, and other parts left out, or even apparently at odds with the orientation and culture of the group.

Then, for myself I see a belief in a story of being an outsider, and an attachment to that identity, which automatically comes up – at some point – when I am in any group, no matter how well the match is. With that belief and identity, I look for evidence to support it, and it also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy with me acting as an outsider, which provides me with even more evidence for the initial story.

And finally, as long as there is a belief in the core story of a separate self, of an I with an Other, something will always feel off. No matter how good the situation is, how well it matches our beliefs and identities, there is a subtle sense of something being not quite right. There is a sense of not being quite at home. And when the situation is at odds with our beliefs and identities, it is obviously not right.

The sense of not quite being at home, of something being just slightly off, is only resolved when the story of a separate I is resolved, when the I with an Other falls away, revealing the utter simplicity of what is, arising as this awake void and form always and already absent of any I with an Other.

Some specific (stories about) ways I don’t feel quite at home in various groups…

  • Bodywork group: they focus on centaur and soul levels, leaving out the Ground, and use terminology which reflects that omission (which makes it impresise, and with no exit sign as Joel puts it). The also try to hide their past (disowning their initial story of their origins), and have a hidden guru (who officially has no role, but still guides everything).
  • Local spiritual group: they are very strong on the head center, and include the heart center, but seem oblivious to the belly center (and the teacher seems to misinterpret if I bring it up).
  • Zen center I used to live at: very strong on Zen, but have a weird macho and somewhat elitist culture which has only been strengthened lately.
  • Local shaktipat (diksha) group: is a little new ageish, and focus a lot on changing content and exceptional experiences so the balance between acknowledging form and emptiness seem a little off.

Of course, the gifts in all of this is that nothing out there is completely satisfactory, which invites me to find it in myself. It helps me (a) see that what I am seeking is already here, and (b) bring those qualities out in my own life that I seek out there.

And the turnarounds of the statements above, about each group, shows me that each of them is also an amazingly good fit for me, beyond what I ever thought I would find several years back.

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