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My spiritual teacher, Swami Bodhanada Sariswati, taught me about a custom in ancient India. When a person was finished with her occupational duties and had completed the responsibilities involved with raising a family, she left it all behind and went to the forest.

Her life in the secular world was now in the past. She was entering a new phase of her soul’s journey, one in which she focused on developing herself as a spiritual being.

I sometimes think I am beginning my own journey into the forest. Not that I’m residing in the woods. I still live in my home with my husband, in the middle of town. But I’ve disengaged from many societal customs and elements of popular culture. Activities that are beloved by many are no longer important to me. I spend a lot of time in quiet contemplation.

I may be a weirdo. But at this point in my life, I long to live on this planet the way my spirit calls me to live. I imagine that as I age, I will walk deeper and deeper into my metaphorical forest.


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