I’ll always remember what the woman behind the ticket counter at Carmarthen train station said to me the day I left Skandavale monastery. It had been one of the biggest decisions of my life to leave. Of course after 11 years of commitment there were some doubts about whether or not I was doing the right thing. But the decision was made and it was already impossible to take back my actions . I was buying a one-way ticket to my hometown Hitchin for £44. So when she asked me “Are you sure you don’t want a return? It only costs an extra pound?” it was as if a voice had been given to the little doubt at the back of my mind. Only an extra pound, eh? I thought. Could it really be that simple? Would it really cost as little as that? No, it was already too late. Now there was no turning back. I had made my decision and, like a boulder starting to roll down a mountain side unable to resist the inevitable pull of gravity, I was already moving under the momentum of the consequences of my choice. There was nothing I could do now to reverse the direction. It remained only to go with the flow, and not resist the karmic forces exerting on me. Whether or not this boulder was going to hit any obstacles or initiate and get caught up in an unstoppable avalanche remained yet to be seen.
Well, I may as well save myself a pound, I thought. Now that I was in the outside world I would have to fend for myself and count every penny.