First Days Outside the Monastery #1 – Doubts

Leaving the monastery

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.

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4 responses to “First Days Outside the Monastery #1 – Doubts”

  1. Hi Jamie:

    I stumbled here from pinning hour 🙂 I am very fascinated by your experience as a monk and returning to society. Will be reading the rest of these posts.

    1. Hi Wendy! Glad you enjoyed reading these posts… there will be more to come soon. Good luck with List-a-Palooza!

    2. Please let me know how you are doing? I am so saddened because my daughter is considering becoming a nun and I cannot accept this. She would never be allowed to walk through her front door again, never be connected with us ever by phone or even send a text to say I love you. I can’t even begin to tell you how I feel as a mom, never being able to spend a day with my daughter sharing a tea at our kitchen table. Please let me know what changed your mind for you to come home. I was so happy to see your story~

      1. Dear Sherry,

        Thank you for sharing your concerns with me. I understand very much what you are going through, as my mother also went throughout the same thing with me. I feel very acutely your anxiety about this, and I have written a personal reply to your email. I hope it will be of some help to you. If there is anything else I can do to help please don’t hesitate to ask.

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