1/1/10 – Happy New Year! Hey Hey – we are in a new decade! Although, here on retreat, it was difficult to tell – the chanting continued and the sleep deprivation continued, resulting in, “Happy New Year!” “What’s that?… Oh… right.”
I am starting to feel sick – sinus issues and a rapidly developing head cold – ugh! I wonder if I am pushing myself too hard. Need to rest down. I notice that most people start to nod off several times throughout the retreat, whereas it only happens legitimately to me once or twice. Am I pushing enough, too much, just right?
Interesting conversation between Hun and a young man who attended the retreat but who mainly poured over books from the bookstore. In a nutshell, Hun presented evidence that there is no way to fully trust our mind and therefore we need the help of outside influences to achieve enlightenment. It was inspiring to be apart of that.
The lamas add one session of calm abiding per day and today, I had a little bit of an experience. I focus on a speck of lint on the carpet about ten feet in front of me (keeping my gaze downward) and I work on relaxing my mind – forcing thoughts to dissipate before they form completely. If I get the whiff of a thought forming, I say to myself, “no mind…” As I do this, for fifteen minutes or more, my mind gets into a state where it quiets down and eventually I notice a ton of heat forming from several organs – definitely from my guts and my liver – maybe pancreas as well. The heat rises and as it intensifies, I try to wrap my mind around it and then it vanishes just as quickly as it arose, leaving me wondering what it was, how it occurred, etc.
Impermanence is really coming home to me at this retreat. I have now been attending TMC for four years now, and I am starting to see the affects of aging, as many (regularly participating) members are between 55 and 70. It is sad and yet it is a sign that it is time for me and younger generations to step up to the plate. Be gentle Kirby but keep practicing with diligence!
Then, on this evening, a plumbing problem manifests… See the next post for more! It is pretty funny.