12 July 2007

Breaking loose...


It's over. In less than a day. I knew the short-term monastic retreat was coming to the end because one of my suitemates, the woman behind me in line, has started to tease me. How do you tease someone without saying a word? Believe me, she could do it. Mostly it involved poking me at times when my reaction, if seen, might embarrass me. Grown, married women, both of us. I loved it. I hated it. I was embarrassed by it. It was unbelievably funny.

What is it about rules, serious rules, that make breaking them so delicious? Especially after trying to hard for so many hours, so many days, to follow them. Or is that just me? Is this the part of me that keeps me shallow...or keeps me sane? Is humor the enemy of spirituality? Of religious practice? It kind of feels that way to me sometimes.

In the two sessions in which we let people know who we were, I found out my playful tormentor was a flight attendant who'd been raised in a Hindu family.


12 July 2007

1 comment:

  1. You ask if humor is the enemy of spirituality or religious practice as if they are the same thing. They're not. To me, progress in spirituality is what happens when we discover the energies of the Universe and our connections to them. And the Universe can be a very funny place. So a sense of humor is helpful, perhaps essential in a person's quest to connect with those energies.
    On the other hand, religious practice is, again for me, a formulated script which someone else has found to be effective in their search for meaning in the Universe. In that case, humor might very well be its enemy, but so what? Making a harmless joke to make light of a manufactured seriousness seems healthy to me. It's never a good thing to take oneself too seriously.

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