Living Between Two Extremes – Sydney City Life To Rural Asia
I have always had this vision for living in a monastery where I can practice a form of meditation on a full time basis.
I am starting to realise, however that I am not conditioned for a life such as that one. I come from Sydney where by my environment has conditioned me to be industrious and conscientious in my pursuit for not only material things, but also to make a positive impact on my society.
I have moved to Battambang in Cambodia, a town with a population of about 200,000 people. It is generally quiet and you tend to see familiar faces almost every time you step out from your home. I have arranged my life in a way where by I can get the best of both worlds.
I have a lot of time on my hands for my esoteric practices. I am not radically involved in my esoteric practices, and although I have thrown some negative judgement towards that truth, I have come to accept the fact that I am accustomed to a life lived among a society of people where I can offer my own personal value.
Therefore, I like to use scripts from both Eastern and Western philosophy in order to guide me through my life. Stoic philosophy which came about during the days of the ancient Greek and Roman rule. These readings were written by emperors who had to deal with things like economics, education, business and politics. Much like our modern day society in the West, these societies were built upon structures, some that form our Western society, today.
On the other hand, you have scripts from the East that tend to be a little more abstract. It is said that a lot of these scripts were written by monks who lived lives of isolation in rural regions, away from civilization. These lives are out of the ordinary, making it difficult for some people to interpret, today.
I feel as though I am living a life, right in between. I have a lot of time in isolation where I ponder and I explore the nature of life. I delve deep into my esoteric practices and most of the time I am scientific about my approach, just like a lot of the Buddhists approach their contemplation and meditation.
On the other hand however, I have had to come to realise that the community I am living within requires a large part of my life, as I have accumulated the skills that come with being conditioned by an environment of industriousness. Therefore, it is up to me to find a balance between these two ways of life.
Stoic philosophy helps me during those times where I am dealing with people in situations at work or even out on the streets. The teachings in Stoicism are based around logic and reason, something that is required if you are to contribute to a society.
On the other hand, I tend to use the abstract teachings from the East during those times of isolation, abstraction and contemplation. These periods do also take up a large part of my life.
Combining the two in a harmonious fashion allows for me to strengthen each area by working and building upon the other. They work together in unison.