20. Dudeism and Being a Hermit in the City
A hermitage in Canada (click image for link)
Now if you are a follower of Dudeism then you will have no doubt seen The Big Lebowski movie, and you will then also know that the Dude, played by Jeff Bridges, was not a hermit.
It could be argued that he had hermit-like tendencies; living alone in quite a small apartment, having all the bare essentials with some "spiritual" luxuries like a Persian rug, whale music, and his holy bathing robe.
But there is another type of hermit that the Dude really digs, he's a city hermit, carrying the quiet of the forest in his heart.
Hermitage of the Heart
The Ancient Order of Druids of America (AODA) has as part of its Gnostic Celtic Church the concept of being a Hermit of the Heart. This is an acceptance of the fact that most of us cannot slope off to the forest and live contentedly in a cabin when we have work, family, and financial commitments.
But according to the AODA, that doesn't mean that we cannot be just as priestly.
Instead of requiring a physical place of recluse, we find sanctuary in the quiet of our heart, or in more Dudeist parlance, we simply take the hermitage with us. Or we can turn our home into a hermitage (just by thinking of it in that way).
Home is Where the Hermitage Is
This means that if, like me, you are one of the 600,000+ Dudeist priests in the world, you can turn your own home, apartment, pad, or man cave, into a little sanctuary. Perhaps you have a sacred place for your chillum, or a favourite seat where you can practise a different angle of recline.
What's important here is that it helps you to recall your inner Dude, so you can bring the qualities of a limber mind, and of abiding with life's events into your day-to-day living.
What we wear can also be like a bell of mindfulness, helping to call us back to our inner Dude. Our inner calm.
We don't need to have left the city, and having not done so doesn't make us any less Dude. It also doesn't make us any less a priest. I'd say it makes us more so.
And my little home, I call it the Apple Blossom Hermitage. No, it's not full of monks, just me and my family. But it's my hermitage, and it has two apple trees, so it kinda makes sense. It's somewhere I feel is like a sanctuary. Maybe you feel the same. Maybe, after work, after crappy shit from life, your home is somewhere to unwind, become more Dude, and so it can be your little hermitage.
Sure, don't get me wrong. I also know that home can be a place full of must-do stress. If so, find a place for your peace pipe, put a little wooden shed in your garden, or lay down a sacred Persian rug in one corner of your apartment to fold some origami.
Claim that space to breathe in calm, and breathe out bullshit.
Nice. Don't wait for the hermitage to come to you. Create it from out of your home, or take it with you inside. Whichever, make it your own.
Until next time.
The Reverend Thomo