When it comes to matters spiritual, I try to keep the ‘No Vacancy’ sign brightly lit and flashing at all times. You know the kind of sign that I mean, the one that tells anyone passing by that they shouldn’t even bother to stop because there is simply no space to fit them in anywhere. Sorry about your luck, pal, maybe you’ll have better luck down the road. Just keep on driving, okay, I’m all full up here.
My ideal religion, my ideal practice, would be one of quiet, undisturbed contemplation and reflection. Buddhism suits me quite well in that respect; I can quite easily picture myself living as a Buddhist monk. Unfortunately, the universe and I aren’t always on the same page in these matters. In this case, I’m not even sure that we’re reading from same book. Heck, I’m not even sure we’re in the same library at this point. I don’t know how or when it happened, but this solitary practioner, this devotee to a single deity, this person who does her best to mind only her own damn business always seems to be mistress of the busiest inn around (if I may return to my original analogy).
There is always something, usually several somethings, going on as far as my spiritual house is concerned. No sooner does one guest leave than at least one other comes to take its place. Having a full house is not a bad thing – dealing with multiple deities/entities, working with other people, having a handful of ideas and concepts to grapple with, meeting new challenges and changes. It keeps me on my toes, keeps me from becoming stagnant in the ways I look at this universe and my place within it. Yet, there’s only so much room available and sometimes guests overstay their welcome. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to start handing out eviction notices to the more persistent loiterers.
I’m going through the ‘eviction’ phase right now, chucking out some practices and ideas that have ceased to be useful or practical. One of the things that’s come under scrutiny is my herbalism practice. I’m not ready to throw it bodily off property, but it’s no longer getting to live one of the luxury suites either. I was for a long time, putting hours of each week into activities that related to herbalism, including a limited-access herbal reference on this site. Putting those kinds of hours into it just isn’t producing good results any more, nor am I learning anything new. Ironically, the last lesson that herbalism taught me was to recognize when it was time to walk away from something toxic, whether it be a plant or a person. It was a hard lesson, one I spent a couple of years willfully refusing to learn, much to my own detriment. I’ve finally grasped it now and when I did, lost much of my enthusiasm for this kind of work. I have the knowledge to call on when I need it and this kind of work has become quite comfortable and familiar to me. I just no longer want to spend time every day on it.
Even as that particular guest departs, there seem to be new ones coming to take its place. They’re still far enough down the road that I don’t have a clear picture of what is coming. All that I do know is that the vacancy sign won’t be lit for long.