'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menomonocanticle [men-oh-mon-oh-can-tickle]; the condition of "vanting to be alone"

One of the things that has caused stress in recent years is people.  I like them fine.  In small numbers.

Honestly speaking I have never been a crowds, parties, gatherings kinda gal.  Something to do with being at waist level.  Folk, however pleasant, end up talking over you or down to you.  Quite literally.  Not that this is their intention, I'm sure.  Then there are the Shortists.  Those who appear to believe less than five feet = less than five brain cells.  Majority times I let them go their merry way.  Every now and then I re-educate them.  Nothing like a bit of short-treatment.

Thus to say that I have always tended to the label of 'recluse' is not too far off the truth.  One priceless memory is of mother coming into my bedroom  (me aged fourteen and four fifths), wondering why I wasn't going to the disco with my wee sisters.  Disco!!  Classical music -" who are The Monkees" - me!!

"You are going to end up a hermit my girl" she uttered in exasperation.  As the door closed there was mention of "Perhaps a child psychologist I should call".

She never did that.  My mother was a pretty adept family psychologist herself.  I have a lot more of her in me than, perhaps, I ever wished to admit for far too long.  So it was a wee bit funny that she didn't see her own great long solitary hikes were the equivalents of my withdrawal into a 'cave'.  The need?  Not to deal, for some time at least, with the mad ,mad, mad, mad, world.  Mum's answer to it was physicality.  Mine, introspection.

That is why, probably, she wasn't all that surprised when I showed interest in spiritual and scriptural matters at an early age.  Ours not being a religious family at all, the decision was definitely my own.  Attempts were continually made to have me 'join' with groups that were considered to be better for me - socially speaking.  Needless to say, I am not a joiner.  No matter what different tack my various interests took me, even when part of a larger group, I tended on the whole to be on the periphery.  I'm an observer.  Nothing is more entertaining than watching humans try so very hard to move around each other.  It has to be said, too, that on the occasions when I did get sucked into the middle of any particular whirlpool, the emotional and psychological toll was pretty heavy.  So I usually found my way back to the outside and into the arms of Spirit.

Before any misconception arises,  let me make it clear that the spiritual life is not a contributor to the distancing tendencies.  It does however sit very comfortably with them - and perhaps that was part of the plan all along.  Becoming inwardly focused has not proven a challenge or emotional minefield for me as it has for others here.  It was always there and can now be given full rip.  I can, if I wish, without any sense of judgment or hint of repercussion, withdraw.  This does not mean I wish to run away from the world.  No, no, no.  It means only that I need lots of recharge time in order to deal with it when its there.  Its having become magnified is definitely a symptom of menosoup.

Indeed, the key challenge for me on the ashram has not been the discipline of mind and spirit.  It has been the adjusting to the fact the world sits here too.  So I have to, every now and then, toss my head, don the muffler and declare "I vish to be alone!"

Works a treat.  Could be lying here for days, lifeless and mouldering.  Eventually someone would figure out the smell was coming from 102.

Double-edged sword, the old solitude business.


  1. Miss our wee chats and cup pas not to mention hot chops. Long gone now, Vasana burnt. As you mentioned watching is quite the thing. Learn so much more than talking. Bring solitude on I say. And as Guru Dev says" if you don't enjoy your own company why impose it on others." And I must say as meno progresses the time spent alone is heaven sent. Never thought I would enjoy my own company so much.

  2. Hari Om
    Oh I do hope you mean 'hot choCs'...


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