Saturday, September 19, 2009
About 15 years ago, I attended an district meeting of OA (Over-eaters Anonymous), many people talked about being lonely and staying in their homes only to go out to work. If they were married, they talked about the abuse they suffered from their families and the fear of leaving the house. Over and over again those who had compulsive over-eating problems, Bulimina , anorexia, all talked about loneliness.
The more I go into this process of getting healthier, the more I feel that I need more and that it is so lonely even though I know people. I have been on this quest longer than this blog. I am getting better, but instead of expanding and feeling more connected with the world and others I am feeling more and more isolated. Today, I decided not to post anymore to the newspaper.
In Natalie Goldberg's book, "Wild Mind", I remembered a chapter about loneliness and got it out. She had finished writing "Writing Down the Bones in 1984 and felt the same way I was feeling now. She went to her teacher, Katagiri Roshi.
"Roshi, I need a teacher again. The people in Santa Fe are crazy. They drift from one thing to another." She said.
"Don't be so greedy. Writing is taking you very deep. Continue to write." He said.
"But, Roshi," She said to him, "it is so lonely."
"Is there anything wrong with loneliness" He asked.
"No, I guess not," She said. "But, Roshi, you have sentenced me to such loneliness. Writing is very lonely,"
"Anything you do deeply is very lonely. There are many Zen students here, but the ones that are going deep are very lonely." He said.
"Are you lonely?" She asked.
"Of course, but I do not let it toss me away. It is just loneliness." He said.
I used to think if I felt lonely, there was something wrong with me. If I was lonely then no one wanted me and I would be left alone, all alone because I was not worth the time and effort for someone to care for me. There you have it, it is just loneliness. I will not let it toss me away.