There is a tribe of nomads and travelers originating in the mountains of Western Mongolia and Central Siberia with pockets in the Pacific Northwest and as far as New Jersey and Alabama. These explorers travel light and carry little. Their largest bags are those filled with their stories, their memories, and their Love.

They are sustained by a dynamic balance of Communion and Autonomy, of Support and Freedom. To them it is as natural and necessary as breathing — coming together, letting go, coming together, letting go.

When two such nomads meet each other, after briefly pausing to honor the Mystery of Change, they hug emphatically. The ceremony is a reaffirmation of the paradigm that sustains their reality — coming together in Communion, then letting go in Freedom.

Riding across the Gobi desert towards the Center of Energy last summer, our small van packed with pilgrims popped a flat. While the driver put in the spare and we idly watched camels roam along the horizon, a young boy, who was studying to become a shaman, taught me the ritual.

We marked parallel lines in the dry earth, and stood opposite each other.

“This is the Panok-la, or Path of Now, symbolizing the gap between Perception and Awareness, from which Newness emerges. As we approach one another along the Path, be filled with the Wind of Mystery, and open to your yearning for Communion.

“When we reach One Place on the Path, we hug. Be That Hug — a whole greater than the self.

“As you let go,” the boy explained, “let Intelligence bow to the Divine Imagination, and set me free. At the same time, you set yourself free.”

Communion and Autonomy, as natural and necessary as breathing. But Time is not only a sustainable circle, it is also a line that accrues. The most insidious materialism is the karmic materialism, the materialism of doing.

“Do you own this Happening?” the rising full moon asks me, when the dew freezes and reflects the reflection, as I bivy alone in an alpine meadow in New Zealand.

The backpack full of stories and memories is always the heaviest. Who are you? Can you let it go? Can you die to your Self? Even the wisest nomads I’ve met struggle to lighten the load. Burdened, we suffocate. We fall together, then fall apart. Fall together, fall apart.

Only our Love Suitcase is weightless.