For a long time I wanted to get away and live in an ashram. I imagined a quiet reprieve from the stresses of David’s care and raising my two other sons as a single mom. Despite having caregivers to help, the breaks I had weren’t enough.
I considered a sandy beach somewhere, where I could sip Mai Tai’s with little umbrellas and wake gently with the sounds of the sea instead of the jerking sounds of a seizure. But I knew that the escape I was longing for would not be found in any idyllic hideaway. I needed to find freedom, not just from the physical demands of my life, but more urgently from my internal struggles and questions that plagued me.
How could I live a full and happy life as I watched David endure seizure after seizure with no end, no cure in sight? How could I give the best of myself to all three of my sons when I was spending what little energy I had keeping myself back from the edge of despair? The answers to these questions would come, not by heading to India, but through living my life exactly as it was, with all the challenges, fear, grief, frustration, anger, guilt, and lots of confusion.
My home is where I began practices of meditation, chanting and prayer. It is where I have learned to walk through the fire of my darkest emotions. It is where I continue to move through feelings of victimhood, grief and anger. My life just as it is has taught me to be with all that arises and trust in the intelligence of life itself - the source of being that has manifested as my son, myself, you, and all of existence.
As it turns out, my very own home has been my ashram.