I've moved a fair bit in my life: from Germany to the UK, from the UK to Hong Kong only to move back to the UK. Next to China and after two years I hopped over to Taiwan. I then returned to Germany and although I hadn't planned it, stayed in Berlin for the most part for the past 7 years. Except that one time I moved to the US to a temple for a couple of months to then spend some more time in Brazil (all of this was before I gave up on flying due to the ecological impact it has).
Since then I've moved around a lot in Berlin, often only staying a couple of months in each place. It's been an insightful experience: every move affected my mind state, often increasing anxiety and bringing with it some resistance to the new environment.
Most recently, I got to experience this when moving into the Zen center I currently live at: whenever I visited, it was easy for me to single things out that I disliked:
- "Couldn't anyone else see how annoying that one person was?!"
- "Why did they meditate this way and not another way?"
- "Why didn't they use a bell, but instead a Moktak?" (a Moktak is a wooden Korean bell, also known as "wooden fish")
It was easy for my mind and my reality to buy into these stories. I resisted and tensed up.