In my last transition post a few weeks ago, I wrote about finally getting to my semi-retired state and the restructuring of my life an schedule. As I've been immersing myself into that I've noticed that I have had a distinct desire to just be alone. I've felt very little desire to interact with others. I don't have any problem when I do interact. It all can be very pleasant. But no need to reach out and make that interaction happen.
At the same time, I am feeling very content doing all the little things that in the past would have been distractions from working. Anything from doing chores around the house to spending all that time playing with grandchildren would have had an element of "I really need to be doing that work that is there."
And there is more and more of a feeling of open-eyed meditation. This is something that your supposed to be trying to achieve. We think of meditation as something where we have to go into a quiet, dark, secluded place so we are not distracted by the world around us. But as you continue to work and deepen your perception and strength, you are able to carry that meditative state around with you even while you're acting in the world. That's called open-eyed meditation. Being at home with Wife and doing our daily life together is an environment where it is very easy to get into the open eyed meditation state.
This was all a bit puzzling to me. Why didn't I want to be with anyone? Why did I want to be alone? Why was I so content doing all these little things that never held any interest for me before?
I had the realization that I had in fact created my own personal monastery. What is a monastery but a place where people go to get away from distraction, to be able to contemplate, meditate, and pray. And monastic life always contains the work component. It acknowledges the value of work without having an attachment to what work it is or the outcome of the work.
Fortunately, the de-I monastic order is NOT one of these real austere ones. We still believe in a bit of wine each day :)