How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard
I sometimes wonder if I’m wasting my time and thus wasting my life. My spiritual tradition highlights inspiring tales of renunciants, individuals who have spent multiple years, even decades, in retreat from the ordinary world.
These are not just stories from by-gone days. One of my teachers, a New York Times best-selling author, recently returned from four years as a wandering yogi, moving about in India with no money or permanent shelter as well as meditating in caves in the Himalayan region.
Considering these influences, I sometimes feel I too should withdraw from the world. I’ve come to see, however, the drawbacks of tormenting myself with “I should.” Chewing the same “should” over and over again is hardly letting go and certainly not the practice of mindfulness or presence.