Can I get that to go with a side of fries?
Yes, I am back to the fast paced world of modern conveniences. It wasn't too much of a shock to my system. In fact, I was so happy to come home to my family and busy life. Retreat is really, really hard work. The distractions of life are rather pleasant.
Which brings me to the topic of this post. We want things to happen and we want it to happen fast. If we could drive up to McSpiritual and order a dose of Bliss and Grace with a side of fries, we would do it. In fact, it's very hard to get away from this sort of mentality even in retreat.
I have this huge desire to get the job done. You know, you want the result and you want it now, which does not really allow for the process to unfold. In the middle of the retreat, you are already planning your escape. What happened to being in the moment? What happened to being here now. Oo, it's not as easy as it sounds, but yet it is.
I did have moments of the pure clarity of being in the moment. Once while washing my dishes, quite a few times on the cushion, and once on my yoga mat. It is such a huge relief from my ordinary mind, that I don't quite understand why I can't make it happen more often. My ordinary mind is not a fun and blissful place to be. Here I am on retreat, alone, with no one to talk to and yet, I'm having conversations in my head with people who aren't even there. When you figure out what you are doing, it's quite funny to realize it. We allow so much nonsense to take up space in our minds. We will fill it with pretend conversations, pretend scenerios and once you get what you are doing, pretend fears. Yet it extends beyond that as well, everything we do with our minds is an illusion. In retreat, it's easier to catch it because you can see that there is no one in your head that you are talking to. The fear is nothing more than something you made up. The scenerio you create is just pure fantasy, a day dream.
So, if I'm constantly creating scenerios in my head and they are mostly what I fear will happen, why not create a better scenerio? Why not dream a better dream? What have I got to loose? Instead of putting all my energy into worrying about Annamika, why not place my energy into seeing her be happy and peaceful and fulfilled? Why not see myself that way? What? Me? That would be too selfish. Yet, the Dalai Lama has asked us to consider cultivating spiritual selfishness. Doing, saying, and thinking things that are the causes to get us enlightened. So yes, I am to see my self happy, peaceful and enlightened.
Now, that I am back to my fast food world, I wonder. Did my retreat really even happen? Did I really change at all? How long will the spiritual charge last?
It will only last if I cultivate it. So, how do I bring my retreat into my life? What will I do every day to make my busy, mom life like my retreat. One of the best things about my retreat was that I planned to be "unbusy". I planned to sit and just look at the view with a cup of tea in my hands. I used to know how to do this when I was younger. Our family rented a cottage at Ocean Point, Maine with a fabulous view. We would sit there early summer mornings with our tea, we would sit there in the afternoons with some juice, we would just sit there and do nothing but be. That's what I need most in my life. Yes, it would be great to spend hours every day on my meditation cushion, but it's not always practical. But I can certainly find time everyday to just sit and do nothing and perhaps that's the best gift of all that retreat has given me. Permission to do nothing. Permission to have an all day shivasana (lay on the couch day). The best way to prepare for meditation is to get "unbusy". That way when you sit on your cushion, you won't be thinking about your to do list!
Here's the view from my retreat. Just sit, relax and have a cup of tea.