When I left my parents’ home in my early twenties my mother called me an ‘adventurer’. That word in the fascist Spain of the sixties meant many things, all of them unbecoming for a young lady. At that time in Spain freedom was the enemy of the regime and education was in the hands of the Church. Yet, in spite of that state of affairs my father decided to send me to a French private school where I received a very liberal education.
My first escape from Spain was to work as an “au pair” in London taking care of a lovely family of four children. The excuse was to perfect my English but the real reason was to enjoy the freedom that London had to offer me. But after one year of glorious independence I received my parents’ ultimatum that it was time to go back home. I remember I cried the day I left.
Back in Spain I found a job with an airline and so again my thirst for freedom and travel was somewhat quenched. It was inevitable then meeting my husband in a far away country, Canada, which is now my adoptive country. There I had the good fortune of meeting very special beings, first my Zen teacher Roshi Philip Kapleau and then Swami Vishnudevananda, the founder of the Sivananda organization. I took my meditation and yoga practices very seriously attending numerous retreats while at the same time taking care of my family and a successful career in an international bank. It was a very hectic time and the traveling I did for the bank kept my illusion of freedom alive. As I visited many countries I struggled with the ethics of the banking system and the high interests that were being charged. These practices came into full collision with one of the precepts of the Buddha: right livelihood. I finally resolved my moral dilemma by resigning from my job. Now I was free to live in accord with the higher values I was learning from my teachers.
Although I went back to work as a part-teacher my lifestyle changed considerably. There was a lot of reducing, simplifying and slowing down as well as more time to be with my young daughter and pursue my spiritual practice. I was starting to realize that running here and there and making more money was not giving me the freedom I was looking for.
Now in my seventies I even have more time and no pressing business to attend but I am freer than ever to move in any direction. How wonderful! To finally slow down and yet to fully enjoy what presents itself. In my search for freedom I had forgotten that I had always been free and what looked like a search for freedom was none other than an inner call for liberation, a call to go back home. Now as I go about my life I know that every move I make is an answer to that call. So what need is there to go here and there? I am always home playing the game of searching for my true home.