My inner nun

There’s a part of me that longs for monastic life. Michael Stone called this my “inner nun”. He said that we all have an inner nun or an inner monk, quietly longing for stillness. As my meditation practice deepens, I find myself more in touch with my inner nun, looking for ways to bring her into my householder life.

Last night I buzzed off my hair. Or, more accurately, I made the first few strokes with the electric razor and my husband did the rest while I crouched in the tub and my son looked in horror at the growing pile of hair at my feet. When I stood up and faced the bathroom mirror, my inner nun was happy.

It’s not a stylish cut or a feminine cut. I’ve had short hair like this before, twenty years ago when my cheeks were rounder and my skin glowed. Now my face is lean and lined, and the effect is far less flattering. This is good medicine. My inner nun is intimate with impermanence, hers and mine.

Nurturing my inner nun isn’t difficult. She’s pleased by the smallest gestures: holding my tea mug with two hands, turning off the car radio, lifting my chin to the sun. In a householder life, I can’t attend to her all the time, but I can find moments when it’s just me and her. Or, I should say, when it’s just me.

Image © 2018 Erin Bidlake

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  1. Janice Varuna

    Yes I understand my inner nun yearns for that meditation, that quietude, that stillness. Hence the reason I return again and again and again to ashrams. omjv

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  2. Scott, Annie’s partner

    This is so lovely. It resonates with me. Thank you, Erin.

    Scott

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