Thank you for the overwhelming amount of replies! I am touched
At this point in my life what I have set forth for me is time for self-betterment (also don't have kids). Meaning that the only obligation I have to anyone and myself is doing better. I do meditate anywhere from 10 minutes to 2-3 hours each day, it fluctuates widely, but I seem unable to stay away from defilement because when I do I feel so disconnected from my community I cannot maintain happiness or compassion. So I get sucked back in to the luxurious life.
I do know that Im not truly leaving anything behind; I simply want a new perspective, and a community that will help with my peace of mind; integrating these ideals without a master here and now, Im struggling greatly with. I am only dramatic because Im on the verge of major change but the grasping still remains and I keep beating myself up for taking what I dont need. In the here and now, I will work on that. Just as I am working on shedding my possessions and keeping a regular practice routine.
I live in Colorado, and I believe I have found a good place to 'retreat' to. Or rather a Dharma center to live and work at: The Garchen Institute in AZ. They have a live/work program that I am thinking heavily on joining. The time period would be anywhere from 30-90 days
I am very stingy with what I read; Currently Im reading a mindfulness of breath book for monks and the dammapada... and also a book about connecting with people (pleasure reading). Perhaps I should be more stingy in my overall actions, too, greentara. It does seem like that's where Im getting into trouble. Thank you
In my quest to simplify things I have begun shedding unnecessary possessions, I have attempted to quit smoking and watching TV, but those have not yet happened. I am beginning to disassemble my business and plan to shut it down when I finally get everything cleared out. I have started selling my collections and giving away my trinkets, but I must do so more ardently or I will have things for some time. Truthfully, I am not very attached to most of it; it seems like it's weighing me down these days more than anything. Eating is tricky for me because of the necessity and the ease at which it transforms into indulgence. So Ive been cutting that back, too.
Thank for again for all of your support! The compassion is very heartfelt and I try to give each and every word everyone posts weight.