This past weekend I attended a retreat at Yogaville, south of Charlottesville VA. It was fabulous. We had time to slow down, take yoga classes, eat healthy, sleep, and walk in the woods. Best of all for me was the meditation in the LOTUS shrine. This shrine is dedicated to the spiritual principle: ‘Truth is One, Paths are Many’.
The focal point of the retreat was to enter our own ground. Through yoga and chanting we were able to leave the door of our mind, enter the gates of our heart, and rest in the pools of pure consciousness. Aaahhhh…..
From this still point place, awareness expanded, heart opened, mind stilled. Aaauuummmmmm
And then a thought arises, and another, then the monkey mind goes wild. Where was that still point I was just sitting in a minute ago??
Aaauuummmm peace, stillness…..
And then another train of thought comes into the station, blowing its whistle loudly disturbing my calm and clarity. Darn it!
Notice that judgment…… yes I’m pissed…..Awareness…….I was thinking about work next week.
Aaaaauuuuuuummmmm breathing, awareness, thought, observation
Breathing in – breathing out; in –breath, out-breath …
And so it went throughout the weekend. Clarity, calm, monkey mind chatter, to-do lists, website revisions, peace, stillness, future planning, workshops to prepare, schedules to keep, when is dinner?
Aaaauuuuummmmmm… notice the beautiful flowering trees – the dogwoods and redbuds. Look at those gorgeous azaleas. Wow aren’t they stunning?
Stillness Every Day
Finally after two days, the last afternoon I felt calm. No thoughts, just silence. I wanted to walk in silence the whole way from the LOTUS shrine to the dining hall for the final meal. I wasn’t even thinking of what food I would eat. Only pure awareness of the beautiful spring day.
Of course I don’t need to go to an Ashram for this experience. I can notice my breath as I’m talking on the phone, I can breathe deeply in a meeting, I can be aware of my thoughts as I am driving my car. All day can be my retreat, if I am in that place of awareness.
Change happens, work piles up, calls come in, calendars get full. Yet it is all breath, all awareness, all consciousness of being in a physical body. We are here. Now. Breathe.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
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