SHUKKE, a 3 year documentation of my life.
Shukke, a Japanese term that means “to leave home” or “to leave home life behind”.It is typically associated with monks as they prepare for a monastic life.
Shukke has a lot of significance at this moment in my life, because it captures the journey of leaving behind an incomplete version of myself in order to become an inclusive self.
A self that is both personal and universal. A self capable of developing a deep connection to everything that exist in the universe and the most intimate aspects of my being.
My journey began with a period of personal conflict, plunging my sense of self into crisis. The impact of this crisis was so profound that the only solution was to walk away from everything I felt attachment to in my life.
I can’t really explain how this crisis grew or how it reached a saturation point — perhaps understanding was not relevant — the only thing that mattered was the acknowledgement of my present reality.
I ran away from the life I had, leaving behind worldly possessions and the things that defined me as a person. This process of leaving was punctuated by hesitation, fear, and at times even guilt.
There was also a figurative component to my departure, which resulted in a stripped down version of myself that contained only the bare essentials. It was in this primitive state that I set out to rediscover who I am.
I became homeless. I choose a life best described as “in between”. Managing to break free from past identifications and associations, I avoided making new attachments to material things, experiences, or relationships.
Being without a permanent home forced me to to stay firmly rooted in the present moment. To exist only in that moment — beyond the burden of time and place — brought a freedom I had never experienced.
Being uprooted led to recognizing and preferring the “road”. The road I discovered was both a metaphor for spiritual and personal growth, as well as an actual state of traveling that served as one of the only constants in my new life.
This lead to the understanding that the only reality that exists is the one in front of me right now. Shortly after, I had the epiphany that everything exists within one instant: past, present, future, all versions of myself, etc. I just needed to choose which path to follow and then simply let go.
Being on the road I grew accustomed to not thinking, to accepting whatever came my way. The unknown became my comfort, not everything had a meaning nor was it analyzed through the filter of cause and effect. I aimed for a life that was inclusive, without judgment, and full of acceptance.
To live in this manner is to quiet the mind, and as such the unknown becomes a reassurance of all that is possible.