Skip to content

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.


  1. pangirlbrit permalink

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

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Making Connections / Top Posts of 2013 | Tales of the Unexpected...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Rambling with "Crazy A"

Adventures around the country and around the world.


My life and journey to my next 100 mile race.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness


Poetry of the Soul

The Doctor's Couch

Hiatus: Time off.

Immature Fruit

Poetry, Travels, Sketches, Writings and a Sip of Inspiration with Passion.

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering

Contemplation Center

We connect people through the practice of contemplation.

The Periphrastic Mind Of A Liberal Arts Major

Something For Everyone's Needs

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: