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My house a place to live in peace and tranquillity amidst nature


I walk each morning for some 2-3 hours without fail after checking my emails, and that’s followed by a hour of sitting meditation. I live my life with spiritual aspiration and retreat-like, and I strive to live a virtuous life. I practice for my death and have cranked up the fire—ardency—in preparing my mind for the death of my body and what comes after. Death—the unknown, oblivion, infinity, darkness, and fear itself. To understand that the purpose of my life is to prepare for death, and that preparing to die is inseparable from preparing to live.

Some days, I may not leave my house (except for my early morning walk). And I love it when I am able to do that. My house is a sacred space for me—my hermitage (I prefer this definition of hermitage, “In Hinduism, a hermitage is called an ashram. Traditionally, an ashram … was a place where sages lived in peace and tranquillity amidst nature.”[1])

At the centre of my home is my computer. I feel happy seated at my computer. I look up and there are two statues of Lord Buddha and a candle that I mostly don’t light. (I stopped burning incense to avoid likely allergic reactions.) Straight ahead, my view is of my kitchen and three weeping willow cuttings that have sprouted roots, and will form the basis of a new bonsai project. (In Australia, willows are now outlawed. How idiotic is that!) I have three large windows with delightful views of my garden in full bloom.

There’s a mug of coffee on my desk.

In Buddhism, the eight offerings are potable water, bathing water, flowers, incense, light, perfume, food and music. I have all of those things in my home. The offerings generate positivity and selflessness; good karma, a happy space and an attitude of happiness. You offer what you can. It doesn’t matter how much you give in an offering. It just matters that you centre your attention and remain in the present moment.

Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching. ~HH The Dalai Lama XIV

I have my own spiritual practice (shaped and influenced by amazing spiritual masters), and The Tibetan Book of the Dead [2}, and it’s a practice I’ve worked on almost my entire life. The silence of my home is my way of cultivating positivity and mental discipline in my life. I’m not a hermit because I’m anti-social or lacking friends. I’m not reclusive because I hate being active—the opposite is true. I am a hermit because I enjoy being insular at this time of my life. But, of course, this condition or state is impermanent as are all conditioned phenomena.


[1] Hermitage (religious retreat):

[2} The Tibetan Book of the Dead.: First Complete Translation (Paperback):


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