How Do I Fit In?

Walking the path of Dhamma gives me a strange feeling of isolation. Often, I feel like I’m walking around an entire society of people with a secret. I don’t want to hide this secret, but I also know that it’s not a secret I can simply share with words. Instead, I need to live it, patiently and persistently, and wait for my action reveal that I have a secret. It’s like I’m a single burning candle among hundreds of unlit candles. Every hour that I meditate helps my candle to glow a little brighter. Occasionally I encounter another candle and we glow a little brighter together. Maybe the extra light catches someone’s eye. Probably not.

The Centers are like torches. People arrive and learn how to light their candle, and try to carry this precious flame into the world. Most people lose their flame within a few weeks, but their candle is forever changed by the darkened wick. Just like cavemen in their time, we will each learn to light and protect our flame, but this will take time.

I picture myself as one among many trying to learn how to protect and grow my flame. At times I get distracted and my flame reduces to embers, but each day I try to tend to my flame a little bit by meditating. With time, more and more candles will be lit, and we’ll be able to help reignite our neighbors’ candles. Maybe it really is this simple. Maybe I’m oversimplifying. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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