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As my sneakers traversed the Spanish cobblestone streets, I suddenly felt an overlay of my 15 year old self.

As my sneakers traversed the Spanish cobblestone streets, I suddenly felt an overlay of my 15 year old self. She was barefoot, doing a walking meditation at a Buddhist monastery in New York State.

For a moment we walked in unison. Me with my winter coat, glitter sneakers, and an Ipod, and her in a hippie skirt, with waist long hair, and a different flavor of innocence.

As a teenager, I was drawn to a life of spiritual seclusion. Living at the monastery felt like it could be home. It was simple, without pretense, and offered a quiet that allowed me to hear more clearly.

One day though, heavy metal music cut through the woods. It was a sound coming from the parking lot. And when I followed it, I found a man smoking a cigarette with his windows down blasting Metallica.

“What are you doing?” I asked, fascinated.

“I’m meditating.”

At that moment, something clicked in for me. I felt the bravery of choosing to be in the game without taking it seriously. To understand viscerally that it all was the divine. Not just quiet and peace. But “fuck” and leather and nicotine.

Seeing him, I felt all my tender locked places. And I realized how comfortable it would be to stay chaste, clean, but lacking my full fire.

I knew then, that to deepen my faith,
I had to become whole.

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