How to Start an Ashram (Ha! As if I really knew?!)
It has been about a month since I posted about the ashram lifestyle that I am hoping to create here in the Red River Gorge, and I thought I would share some of the lessons that have landed since I put this out there. Plus, tomorrow morning is September 1st, and that's the day that I wanted this ashram to "start", so you can bet that I will be getting up to meditate and practice asana and pranayama, even though it's likely I'll be solo for a few days. At some point, I realized that what I am essentially doing is inviting people to join me in spiritual practice. This is a very intimate thing to do! And it's pretty hard to make this invitation without a dedicated space to practice in... "basing" myself here at the Land of Arches Campground is a start, but it would be easier if there was a physical structure or space that was dedicated to some of the ashram activities (yoga, cooking, eating, meetings, etc). So since there is no actual space, for now, it basically feels like I AM the ashram, since I'm carrying this wish around inside me.
I also realized that a big part of this work, for me, is about healing my relationship with time. Committing to a regular daily schedule, and being the "keeper" of that schedule, feels like a HUGE commitment for me! I was really hoping to have a lot of help with this, in terms of others also making the same commitment. And that support feels like it is on its way. In the mean time, however, I am prepared to operate on a more planful, scheduled basis for the next two months, in the interest of making it easier for others to potentially sync up with my activities.
As with any idea, there is always some drifting and shifting between the conceptualization of an idea and the realization. I was hoping that I would magically find some hardcore climbers who would be willing to locate here at the campground (which is basically a climbers campground anyway) and who are also interested in deepening their spiritual practice. So far, that hasn't been the case. The people who have been most interested so far are yoga and spiritual people who don't climb... at least not yet.
I'll keep this post short for now, it's bedtime and I need to set my alarm to get up early tomorrow! Saying extra prayers tonight, as I step into this new chapter, whatever it ends up looking like!