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The Purpose of Retreat

April 2, 2013

Sitting in my apartment today I felt a paradox – Stuck – because I am still waiting to be rehoused by the Housing Association but also – Free – because there is nothing I can do about it. That got me to thinking: ‘What has the last few weeks been about?’ Well, apart from the obvious ‘insanity’ in the form of a mental breakdown (read through my posts from 17th Feb onwards for info on that chestnut!)… I realised that I had LOTS of TIME. This is retreat.

I was already utilising this time, as best I could, well by doing the practices I teach – but there was little awareness and contradiction-in-terms – little presence.

I changed that.

Today I did my practice as usual, but then I deliberately brought to mind the people in my life who haven’t helped me. The people who haven’t understood where I’m at, where I have been, and just how fragile my health on all levels has been –  I saw them clearly, visualised myself breathing in a ‘fog’ that lingered between us – then let it go on the out-breath. This practice is just part of a practice called ‘Tong Len’, a Buddhist meditation. The Dalai Lama often refers to it as ‘giving and receiving’.

What happened?

I was angry! Boy was I angry!!!!

So now I come to the purpose of this post, the purpose of meditation – the Purpose of Retreat:

To be real. To sit within the confines of your presence. To be with yourself, without trying to change it. This can be scary. It can even result in physical sensations of detoxification – because you are cleansing your mind.

And you cannot cleanse anything – without seeing what it is you are trying to ‘get rid of’ I invert the apostrophes  because we aren’t really getting rid of it – we are accepting what is – this in turn may transmute itself into something perhaps more helpful.

But then – as human beings, we are a magical mismatch of positive and negative, light and dark, fun and misery – and let’s face it:

Life would be pretty dull without it.

🙂

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5 Comments
  1. pangirlbrit permalink

    You said comma, it’s apostrophes or quotes. lol. I know what you mean though. Great Piece.

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