Sunday, April 29, 2007

Going up my mountain - Becoming an Occasional Hermit

Once again I am living the life of a hermit up in the mountain of Busay overlooking the city of Cebu.

I came up here six days ago and I will be here until May 23. Two years ago, I spent five months here, during my sabbatical. Now I can only spare a month.

This is my sacred space. I fell in love with this place when I was still a seminarian. I made a promise that I will come up here regularly (at least for a month) and spend time in solitude, silence and prayer. This is what I have been doing since my ordination - except for the six years that I was away for higher studies in Berkeley and in Rome.

This is a very relaxing time for me. Besides praying and meditating , I have enough time to jog along the trails and to practice Taichi. I set aside time for spiritual reading. I also do some writing (I am trying to finish my book projects). I cook my own meals and wash my clothes. Usually after supper, it is music time (playing the flute, violin or the guitar). When I am inspired, I compose some songs or write poetry.

Once a week, on Sundays, I go down to the monastery 12 kilometer below and have dinner with my confreres. This is also the time to check my e-mail, catch up on the news and get food supply.

Even though I live alone, I really don't feel lonely. I am in a flow, time goes so quickly. I feel re-energized. For now, I have to be contented with the little time I can spend here. When I reach 70, I would like to spend my remaining years here.

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