During the summer, many of us will travel back home to visit family and friends. ‘Back home’ is not a particular location —it is the place where our attachments reside. Unless we are truly detached, old habits assert themselves, and the cognitive and affective afflictions can return full-force. If that is the case, it is best to stay away.
If we can avoid attachment during our visits back home, we will have wonderful opportunities to practice the Dharma and demonstrate to ourselves how much we have advanced along the way. We may have developed a different perspective on reality and learned techniques to eliminate or reduce our affective and cognitive afflictions, but unless we have the opportunity to apply them, they remain mere conceptual formations.
Since the strength of the bonds and habits is greater back home, it is precisely there where we can more easily realize how far we have advanced, and how much farther we need to go.