I have been contemplating moving to a different city because where I am living now does not provide a nourishing environment. This provides a fertile ground for my ego-mind to arise occasionally. Yet I have not felt that no matter which way I turn I am trapped. Why?
Since my meditation on the heart’s embrace (see my post on that subject), I have been one with my heart, my unborn Buddha mind, and so am aware of the positive things about the place where I live, all the things I am grateful for, while being aware at the same time that there are important things lacking here. And when I think about moving, I have faith that I can go through the process in a way that will make me comfortable and that will not bring with it the risk of repeating past mistakes because I will do it with equanimity.
There are moments, however, when I am pulled in by my ego-mind and I see the lacking of this city very starkly, am filled with negative thoughts, and feel pushed to protect myself by getting out of here. But on the other hand, when I think about moving to the city that I want to try, I am gripped by fear not so much of the unknown but of recreating past bad experiences. And so when I am in my mind I feel trapped … I feel I have to leave and yet my fear traps me here. I feel exactly as my friend feels.
But when I experience these moments, when my ego-mind does arise, I am aware and so am able to quickly go back deep inside myself and return to my heart where I neither feel the push to leave nor the fear of moving and so am a free agent, able to act with equanimity in a way which is in my best interest. And I am at peace.
This did not used to be so. For many years, I focused mostly on the importance of accepting life as being exactly the way it is at this moment, being present. That was the challenge. I viewed anything that moved me away from being present as being suspect. For example, my desire to move would have been questioned.
But I realize now that my heart can in one sense move me away from the present as well by recognizing that some things in the present aren’t in my best interest and that it would be desirable to change those things if possible.
Wanting to move is not spiritually a harmful thing, it all depends on the frame of mind/heart with which it is done. And it is vital that once the decision is made, that you return to the present and do want you need to do while being present, no what-ifs (see my post, “As a Buddhist, How Do You Plan for the Future?”).