Iris and I spend three days a week in Eschersleben, a small town two hundred kilometres west of Dresden where she performs eye surgery in Magdeburg and does clinics in a couple of little villages. I escort her and support her, as well I take my watercolours and pencils and create while I am there. The leaves are still hanging on and its quite lovely in a more rural area.
These days I feel at home wherever I am. Iris and I are headed to Myanmar, for a month, in January where Iris will volunteer her time working with local surgeons, training them in procedures that have not been learned in Myanmar. Its our sixth visit there. We have come to have good connections and appreciate the simplicity and basic way of life there.
We were discussing the issue of home amidst our planning and we agreed that neither of us have one particular place that we feel is our home. Both of us have traveled extensively and lived in various countries and places over the past twenty years. Although there have been good memories and periods when we have longed for the “good times” of the past we both agree that these are creations of thought and as our relationship to thought has changed we have both moved through the emotions that seemed to be attached to them.
This “letting go” is not something that I have strived to attain. What has occurred is that I realize that to focus on an image is to think about it. I cannot escape this because the very use of an image is from the field of mental concepts. Much of longing and desire are a product of this focus. For me meditation and a contemplative life is about a connection to eternity and has nothing to do with time or getting lost in the stories, thoughts or concepts of the mind. A concern for past and future begins to fade as the real meditative state of silence grounds awareness in the now. Habits, tendencies, and identification with conditioned belief systems have subsided in a practice focused on rediscovering this original nature realized in presence. It has nothing to do with becoming more successful than others, self improvement, success or to change myself outside of coming to know myself. Change is a given for all things in existence and I am aware that I unfold and evolve when I am more attuned to my nature. If there is faith involved it is in that process and connection to something unknown.