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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:51 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Greece
I'm quite happy both in a social setting and being on my lonesome. I have no problems with either.

I am one of those people that Kim refers to that "...attempt a quasi-monastic approach to Buddhism." I spent the Xmas break in a home retreat (I sent my girlfriend off to see her parents in Athens and broke the retreat for a few hours to have lunch with my parents). To tell the truth I prefer practicing on my own anyway (even though, for about 6 years I organised and guided a meditation group). Being isolated also means that I am not embroiled in "Dharma" politics. Now that is a plus!

Now, the truth is, that since there are few entertainment options where I live (a rural town of 40,000 people on a small Greek island off the coast of Turkey) and the options are largely commercial (I have always favoured progressive/alternative music, cinema, etc...) I have no real desire to engage in socialising under those parameters. If I was living in a large city, I don't know how things would be then (though the opportunities for group practice would increase).

The other thing is that, being in a long-term relationship and having ones own space, one doesn't need the shallow banter associated with most socialising and doesn't need to escape their environment (like when I was a kid living at home with the parents). That said, Greek people normally meet out, they rarely invite each other to their homes.

Isolation does help ones practice though. There is nothing like a few days spent alone for you to be able to clearly see all the junk in your head and makes it impossible to find an object to project it onto (though, there are always the cats to blame :smile: ).

_________________
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm
Posts: 311
I am hermit myself. I find it's hard to be an introvert in western society, especially if you are also dharma practitioner. I see it as neither good nor bad though, and enjoy both seclusion and the company of others. Deal with it, but keep your chin up because it definitely has its benefits. :twothumbsup:


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