TUESDAY 9 Aug; My Pilgrimage
Eleven days ago I arrived at Eleusis, after 15 days of cycling 1100 kilometers on my bike. A lot happened on my journey from Den Bosch to Eleusis. My original plan had been to ride on my bike from Den Bosch in Netherlands to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, but from day one I started to have doubts about this. I doubt if I can do another 1800 kilometers to Santiago. I have doubts about my reasons for wanting to do this. I have doubts about the length of time I will be away from home.
My stay at Eleusis is helping me to listen to what my feelings want to tell me without too much interfering of my thoughts. Thanks to being a member of the community of Eleusis some new things are awakening in me for which I already feel gratitude.
It is lovely to see how Tara the kitten is skipping around so playfully and innocently, to see the beautiful flowers, to see how the vegetabels from the garden transform into soups and chutneys and to discover oregano growing in the forest.
The morning services here at Eleusis are also completely new for me. I practice Zen Buddhism in Holland (in the sangha of Zen Centrum Den Bosch) but I am not familair with Pureland Buddhism. This makes it a bit harder for me to be completely involved in the chanting and the ceremony, nevertheless afterwards I felt a lot of movement inside me without understanding what was happening.
During the day I help with all kind of activities. Sometimes I help in the kitchen, preparing meals or making chutneys, sometimes I work in the forest, or in the garden. During one of my activities in the woods I was working alone for a couple of hours, clearing the path to the retreat hut. During this job I felt and decided that I don't want to go on with my cycle journey to Santiago de Compostela. My time here at Eleusis has more significance for me than going to Santiago. My pilgrimage is taking me further anyway, whether I go to Santiago or not.
Finally I have experienced that when you are able to let go of control there are lots of new possiblilities and so many more enjoyable moments. This feels quite special for me. I am even thinking now about the possiblilityofo riding further on my bike, just to enjoy the French countryside, without any other purpose nor having a destination in mind.
Life is beautiful
Namo Amida Bu