Monday, March 24, 2008
I just found out that I got in to a four day meditation retreat ten days from now. I registered late because I was hoping to have surgery at that time.I was extremely disappointed and anxious about not getting to schedule surgery as soon as I wanted to. I had to let go of my pictures and embrace the schedule of the doctors. It seemed like I had been waiting forever and my symptoms were creating lots of suffering. Rather I was creating lots of suffering about my symptoms.Several days after I finally knew the date I released my stress over not being in control. The severity of my symptoms lessened. I saw very dramatically the role stress plays in the body. Once I knew I had to wait and I could handle what was happening I could relax. Eckhart in the webcast tonight says to ask yourself,"Am I able to accept this moment as it is? Can I be the space for this? Can I use it as a vehicle or a messenger of presence?" Each moment presents an opportunity for us to embrace it and use it to move back to presence. Some are way easier than others. After I realized I could do the retreat then I debated with myself about whether I wanted to or not. My inner guidance kept saying, "Go for it. It is a perfect preparation. You can do it." My inner critic would counter with,"You are having trouble meditating at all. How are you going to meditate for four days? Who are you kidding?" I finally decided that although it would be a challenge I wanted to go. By then there were seven people who wanted the last available spot. I am very grateful that I get to go. I am hoping that they found more rooms and all seven of us got to go. I am excited and scared. I have all sorts of food allergies and eating what others eat is very challenging.I know I can bring some of my own food. I get a small dorm room. The space for myself will help me to feel more comfortable. My first silent retreat I slept in a dome with 15 other women and one bathroom. Can you imagine 15 women pantomiming the logistics of sharing a bathroom? Now it seems really comical but at the time I thought my bladder would burst and the weather was too cold to go outside. Some of the women snored, I was probably one of them. By the end I was very sleep deprived. Even so, it was a very positve growthful experience. When I first moved to Colorado in 1971 my boyfriend was a teacher at the Holy Cross Abbey in Canyon City where this retreat will be held. It feels like a full circle to be going back there. It was at that time that I began my first meditation studies with Silva Mind Control.This is a silent Vipassana or Insight meditation retreat. There will be four teachers and a combination of walking and sitting meditation.The meals are eaten in silence. I was talking tonight about how many times I have set the intention to let go of reading when I eat. I usually eat mindfully for a few days and then go back to reading and eating. Tomorrow I am going to recreate this intention so I can ready myself for the retreat. Reading when I'm not eating and eating when I'm not reading is very challenging.It will be useful to me to separate them and be more mindful and present when I am doing each of them. It allows me to eat less and to enjoy reading more. Somehow it is hard for me to take the time to read just because I want to.Back to the pleasure thing. It is very pleasurable to read and I am giving myself permission to do pleasurable things even after March (my birthday month) is over. What is something pleasurable you could give yourself permission to do? When?