My days of silence have come to an end, and on the morning of the 5th day- the shine shined so bright on new snow that is was almost blinding. I have the same ritual of re-entry every year— my Beloved takes me to dinner, I listen to his week of “retreat” and then we get ready to head to either my daughters in Las Vegas or to my Grandmothers in Minnesota. This year we head to Vegas— the complete opposite of my last 5 days. I before leaving use the time to clean my house— a metaphorical outer cleansing to match the inner cleansing I’ve done. I chant the name of Yogi Ramsuratkar, I move room to room, item to item and when done my house is ready for our return from whatever destination we come back from. It helps me to feel like the “house” is in order to begin again.
Most people are so addicted to self destructive behavior, so intent upon self destruction, that they ramble on until they destroy something—like mood, space, chamber possibility, opportunity for understanding or growth or deepening into the delicate fabric, or web of perfection fo what is, as is at every moment. —Lee Lozowick
It’s always the same up to retreat, I’m either asked the question of “are you ready for Christmas?” Or “ 5 days of quiet, oh my gosh how awesome”— both of these statements are unconscious responses to the space that exists between people. We are conditioned to not have space, we want to greedily fill every moment with words— as if there isn’t enough to go around and each of us don’t want to lose our “share”. My responses to these questions are polite “yeses”. In my mind though I want to say- ready for what at Christmas exactly —is there something new happening— did I somehow forget something important that only you the questioner know about— and to the latter question I want to explain that it is not necessarily awesome in the middle of your own self with no cell service, no reading material, no talking no eye contact— nothing but you connected to you and your rampant bullshit that habitually flows in and out of your brain for the first two days because there is not enough silence to blanket the bullshit that we create for ourselves in order to mask our greatness. But neither of those statements are what people want to hear— they want a polite answer as you’ve checked off a box of obligation and can then carry on about the day.
This years retreat was powerful as they all have been, this year there was no one who drove me crazy with the way they breathed or chewed or existed— see this happens because my ego doesn’t want me to move past it so it attaches all my projections on to one person who innocently is probably doing the same thing of projecting onto me. I was left to my own self to shovel my own shit— and let me tell you we all have a lot of shit to shovel— habitual tendencies, conditioned responses, negative self talk loops— and as much as my ego wants to fight against it — when there is no distractions, you’re left to shovel your own shit.
I came away with a better understanding of my blind spots— my habits— and I will probably fall right back in lock step with them— but for a moment I let them go, cleaned my inner house, and Remembered Myself— so Yes I’m ready for Christmas and Yes 5 days is in fact AWESOME!