Monday, June 13, 2011

5 pagan practice things to do while on a work trip

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

It's been a long week. I attended a conference for work all last week and my mind is currently whirling with information related to work issues. While away I struggled to keep up my morning practice and I'll be honest, I only managed to keep up a minimal practice.

Here are some of the challenges I noticed:

  • knowing what to pack for a realistic practice on the road
  • the ethics of lighting candles and incense in a non smoking hotel room
  • vertigo during meditation in high level buildings
  • privacy (roomies/neighbours)
  • time constraints
I know that other bloggers out there have created beautiful travel altars. As crafting as I am... well this just wasn't the case for me. I kept it simple. My suitcase contained the following extras:
  • small tea light candle (red)
  • incense matches (frankincense)
  • matches
And that's it. Everything else was done via imagination/visualization whilst looking out over the ocean from my hotel window.

When I arrived in the room (non smoking), I quickly realized that I wasn't sure how kosher it would be for me to light my incense/candle. Would a fire alarm go off? Would work be charged for "smoking" in a non smoking room? Would my routine be potentially interrupted if I attempted to light the candle/incense? Since I wasn't sure, I opted to light the items symbolically! It was a bit odd but worked nonetheless. At the end of the day, I decided that it was a good exercise in honing my visualization skills!

Next up... vertigo. I was on the 8th floor and while the vertigo wasn't terrible, it was there. As soon as I started to create a magical space for my practice, the energies in the room, the new space, and the disconnect with the ground all seemed to throw me a little off. It wasn't anything major but I did have to sit down for a few minutes after practice to ground myself in a way that I've never had to do at home. It was an interesting experience to say the least!

I was lucky because I had a room to myself but I did have to wonder what my neighbours heard through my thin walls (I could hear them talking... even though it was a nice hotel). So I kept things down, mostly out of courtesy, but also out of the personal desire for privacy during practice. The last thing I wanted to do was to draw attention to myself in a foreign land! (Yup, I was visiting you folks below the 49th parallel). A discussion with friends about travelling and practice led us to agree that if you have to share a room but still want to maintain your practice in privacy, one option for privacy might be to get up earlier and use the washroom for practice. Not ideal by any means but an option for consideration. Alternatively maybe you can find a quiet space in the area that would suit your needs).

I didn't have a lot of time, so I chose to abbreviate my practice while away. Instead of 30 mins, I took 10, even 5 at times. It was enough to keep me in touch with my spiritual self, but didn't become overly taxing in terms of my busy schedule. Perhaps daily practice on the road means reducing your practice to meditation, or taking a walk in nature. Maybe it means a quick libation. I know that for me, being fluid in terms of my expectations on the road really helped.

What about the rest of you out there, what do you do while traveling?



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