Spiritual Vacation Tips
I just rolled back into good old New Jersey late last night after a trip across our Northern border to attend a wedding and give the kids a chance to experience the raw power of nature at Niagara Falls. So now you know why I was missing in action last week . It was simply a magnificent vacation and not just because of all the fun we had at Niagara Falls, or all the endless dancing we got to do at the wedding, that would have made it a great trip, but it was a magnificent trip, because I found myself spiritually uplifted and recharged after it. Today, I would like to share with you some tips on how to make a vacation great for your spiritual dimension as well.
Of course, if your vacation is a yoga or meditation retreat, there is no question that you will come back inspired and eager to deepen your practice, but even if your vacation is just a regular one, I think it can be useful to helping you with your spiritual evolution and here is how…
1. Perspective Change – Enlightenment Experiences:
In the past I have written about the danger of vacations in that it can disrupt a burgeoning practice in the article, It’s Wonderful But Dangerous to Your Meditation Practice, but the opposite is also true. If you are overly caught up in the rat race and have lost the right perspective in life, then a vacation is great for disrupting that madness as well. In other words, if you have gotten too involved in the drama of your little life and little ego, stepping away from it all for a few days will give you a chance to zoom out and put things back in their right place.
We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life from time to time. When this happens our practice tends to suffer as our energy and time get sucked up by whatever it is that we are chasing and we lose sight of what is important. The only thing that is really important is your spiritual work, the rest then flows in the right way from there. If your spiritual practice is gone, you are lost. You will run endlessly after things that you believe will make you happy, and like a rat on a wheel, you will just spin endlessly from desire to desire. Meditation is the realization that there is nothing to chase, that everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. That you are already complete and lacking nothing, and stepping away from your daily life, at a minimum, gives you a chance to see this rat nature of yours . In fact, if you are lucky, sometimes in a relaxed state during vacation, not only do you realize you have been chasing meaningless outward rewards, you may even end up having the realization of the perfection of life just as is.
This is exactly what I experienced the second day into my vacation. As I lay in bed, for an afternoon nap with my two boys, reflecting on the perfection of the scenario, suddenly the endless perfection of life overwhelmed me. Awareness simply shifted into another dimension, which was saturated with great indescribable beauty and depth. As is common with such experiences, it was unique, blissful, came on it’s own and belonged to a dimension completely divorced from mind and matter. It stayed for a while, allowing me to bathe in the great mystery of this thing we call life.
Lesson Learned: Find some time during your vacation, when you can be completely relaxed, free of all your worries and tensions and simply allow yourself to be in the moment and reflect on the perfection of the here and now.
2. Nature Time:
As I mentioned in the article, 10 Things to Do Daily for a Happy and Meaningful Life, requirement number 4 is to spend time in nature. Nothing is better for helping you reconnect with life and break free from the material rat race than spending some time in the beauty of mother nature. I have also mentioned the importance of including such time in the article 3 Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment, and if you have not managed to do this during your everyday life, certainly use your vacation time to re-establish this connection. As many masters have pointed out, if you cannot relate to nature and it’s rhythms, you will never be able to relate to your fellow man, or to God.
Perhaps I need to write more on this topic for in the end, Love and Truth are one and the same. Being of the intellectual disposition, my approach has always been of awareness and intelligence, but that is not to say that I don’t realize that in the end, it is all about Love. Love is an energy far more than passion, lust, attachment, etc, it is an energy beyond mind and matter. Vacations are a great time to give this energy a time to emerge and flow. During your vacation, be open, kind and sensitive. Normally, due to fears and insecurities we build walls and shields around ourselves to protect our egos; take a chance during your vacation to lower these defenses and allow life and others to reach and touch you. Yes, it is more dangerous, as you will now be exposed, but it is the only way to find love. Without being vulnerable and innocent, you cannot know Love.
A wedding is a celebration of Love, and in an Indian Wedding, believe me there is lots and lots of celebration , so for me, in this case, it was easy to make love and joy a focal point of my vacation. In Zen, they call this practice Loving Kindness Meditation, and learning to integrate it into your life will bring the sweet fragrance of Love into your heart and others.
So next time you go on vacation, find some personal time for relaxation, find some time to reacquaint yourself with mother nature and make sure you just let the love flow…
Here is one of my favorite love songs. I love you all .