spiritual nomadism or the one seat

I am a spiritual nomad, as were my ancestors, as are my descendents (so far anyway). 

This is the way of our people.

Jack Kornfield’s book, “A Path With Heart” includes a chapter entitled, “Take The One Seat.”  Kornfield explains that taking one seat means “selecting one practice and teacher among all the possibilities.”  By claiming one seat, the seeker will deepen in spiritual practice. 

Kornfield’s premise taunts me.  I long for this, but it is not the way of my people.

So in my spiritual nomadic existence, I have set up a camp chair for 40 days in the land of beauty.  At the end of 40 days I will pack up, bringing along what I’ve learned. 




1.  a member of a people or tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of the pasturage or food supply.
2.  any wanderer; itinerant.
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3 Responses to spiritual nomadism or the one seat

  1. Lorna Cahall says:

    I can relate to this – and I think it is so necessary to deepen your understanding. It’s a quest- no doubt an endless, but a really brave, quest. How much agony has the world seen because someone won’t give way to the new? Some folks are so, so scared of change, yet it is the very nature of life.

  2. I’m sure Jack Kornfield knows whereof he speaks, but his advice doesn’t speak to my nature. I’ve often referred to myself as spiritual groundcover, but I like the term nomad.

  3. Lorna Cahall says:

    Hi Elizabeth, We just read Hessa’s Siddhartha (our Classics Bk Club) and there is a wonderful look at the division of paths between the one who finds (stops questing because they feel themselves to be centered) and the one who must quest forever. Very relevant to this discussion. There seem to be two ways, neither of them wrong; maybe Hesse sees them as levels of fulfillment – hard to say..

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