I really feel the desire to find a sanga (spiritual community) right now, but as I research it online, I find all of these white people in robes. Their hair may be short, but I know a former hippie when I see one.
I'm a hippie, I know I'm a hippie, but I can't help but feel really self concious in a room full of white people bowing and meditation. Thats the point, I AM a hippie, and so when I see all of these like minded people, I am looking at myself. I think they look a little silly, frankly. All the bowing looks silly. Bowing is powerful, it helps you to break down the ego, but, it looks silly.
I think what I have to do is meet with a head of a sangha, and maybe tell them how I am feeling. I bet if I did they would laugh and say something that makes me at ease. (Or something that challenges me, not puts me at ease, but is useful to me)
I am such a western stereotype that I want to walk in a room and be surrounded by Asian monks. But I don't want to walk into a room full of Asian monks and be me, I want to walk into a room full of Asian monks and be me on the inside but on the outside blend right in.
I will say, the Asian monks I have run into I REALLY liked. They really had a peaceful aura about them. I think that the difference between them and these whiteys is the self conciousness. And I shouldn't say whiteys I should say American whiteys because I can only speak of my own people. The whiteys, as peaceful as they are, were raised in America. I am sure if I saw an Asian-American monk they would have that same self conciousness.
But I keep saying SELF conciousness. By labeling them "whiteys" I am strengthening the ego's belief in "self." Maybe I am right on target by seeing myself as an Asian male monk. I am recognizing that we are the same, but for some reason I am resisting seeing myself as the same as my hippie bretheren.
Am I ashamed of my background and the person I am inside? I am a hippie child, running around in the rain in thrift store clothes. I have been judged negatively and not understood why. Perhaps if my mom was still alive I would have rejected the rejection, not internalized it. I am proudly a hippie, but yet I still distance myself from the hippies. (the ones not in my family that is)
I think that is the trick, talk to the head person. Talk about it.