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As my followers and regular readers may know, I recently completed a 90-day meditation retreat. It was a rich, rewarding, insight filled, stretching-to-grow and increasing-one’s-potency type of retreat. On the retreat, we did Qigong daily, along with prostrations, purification practice (one of the Tibetan Buddhist preliminary practices), metta loving kindness, somatic processing and vipassana. Plus twice a week we did dream play (will explain in a future post). Four sessions / day. It was awesome! And it has now been over two weeks since re-emerging. I had a good week to process and integrate and digest and continue to do daily practice and self-care.
With that said, I am gearing up to move residences, which is a bit inconvenient. Not moving far, I am glad for this change. I am excited to be moving in with my girlfriend; we had been seeing each other for a while prior to retreat, and we stayed in touch via letters during retreat. This feels good in my heart. She has a 5 year old daughter, who I have also grown close to over the past year. And on reflection, the retreat was preparing me for this move. It had some gritty days – once or twice a week (for a month or so) I was forced to grind away at self-grasping and the resulting resistance.
Can we sit in the fiery cauldron of transformation for weeks on end and allow ourselves to be touched, to be changed, to be transformed? I think most of us were forced to do this! Can we hatch from a potential (baby) dragon into a fledging teacher, community-builder and social justice advocate? Can we peer deeply into the inner machinations of our nervous systems and realize that our meditation success is intimately woven together with the state of our autonomic nervous system? Can I use this newly realized refined innate wisdom (not a lot mind you! It was only 3 months) to benefit others – whether through process-oriented bodywork, or Western Astrology or Somatic Experiencing sessions?
And just to share, we were receiving weekly updates on the Covid 19 response, progress and stay-at-home requirements, not to mention learning news about deaths and numbers of cases both in the U.S. and internationally. This helped me for a number of reasons. First, it increases our compassion if we hear about other’s suffering, or at least there is certainly that opportunity! Second, it helped me (us) know what kind of world we would be re-emerging into. I realized that most of my post-retreat plans would have to be re-evaluated and if nothing else, the timing would have to be changed. We came out of retreat and were forced to stay at a relatively slow pace – which is just fine with me!
For at least two weeks in the retreat, I was a little numb to the news though. I don’t think it really hit home until April how bad certain parts of the world had been affected. It was difficult to process so much inner stuff with this overwhelming news (about Italy or India or Ecuador, etc).
In upcoming posts, I will be reflecting on thoughts / themes from retreat. Maybe these themes were actually apart of retreat, or perhaps I reflected on wisdom I brought into the retreat, and got to deepen and appreciate more fully. I plan to publish at least ten theme posts over the next couple of months – no rush. Get settled, continue moving slow, connecting with the health (within) which is never lost, appreciating the beauty of spring around us, spending quality time with family and when possible (social distancing) with friends, leaning into support, and continuing to keep my foot dipped in the deep well of healing wisdom – practicing Dharma and self care on a regular daily basis!
Thank you for reading!