beckym's Travel Journals

beckym

 
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  • Currently in Auroville, India

Sadhana Forest, India

Welcome to my adventures over three weeks living with the Sadhana Forest community and learning what sustainability really means.

Too many choices...

India Auroville, India  |  Jan 11, 2011
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 I believe there is a balance to choice 

As my second week at Sadhana Forest ends, the reality of leaving soon is starting to hit me. Many questions are flooding me right now. The one I keep on coming back to is what will it be like to return to my “normal” life after experiencing Sadhana.

I think back to the discussion we had the other day about the role choice plays in our lives. I have always assumed it is a good thing to be offered choices and it was enlightening to think about how this may be detrimental to our well-being As the discussion progressed, I reflected on my own life and how often I feel overwhelmed by the many choices I have to make each day. What to wear, eat, buy, do. Our society views these choices as contributing to our independence, our freedom. But in reality, these choices often make me feel disconnected from reality because they consume so much of my time, my thinking. And once a choice is made, which is probably based more on advertising influence than rationality (hmm...is this really a choice), I often find myself worrying about whether I made the right choice or not. Would I have been happier if I had chosen a different meal on the menu?

Here at Sadhana many choices are already made, such as meals, schedules, rules. It's not as if we have no choice at all, we always have the choice whether we want to participate or not. I find this liberating, and I want to make sure I take full advantage of this opportunity and use the energy I am saving to work on expanding myself.

I believe there is a balance to choice. If you think of choice as a spectrum, with no choices (oppression) on one end and too many choices (privileged capitalism) on the other, what does the middle of the spectrum look like? I'm not really sure what the answer to this is, but I think the lifestyle at Sadhana falls closer to this point on the spectrum than any other place in which I have lived. The next question is how do I take this awareness home with me to Portland, Oregon. I think I will start by assessing what I really need in my life versus what I want. I'm guessing this is more difficult than it sounds since we are so influenced by messages we've received throughout our lives telling us what will make us happy.

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