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Showing posts from November, 2013

Back in the Saddle

"Just let things be, just as they are." --Evie Chauncey, Assistant Teacher at the NW Vipassana Center

Whew! It's good to be home. My intention was to start blogging immediately upon my return, sharing all the insights and inspiration from my latest ten-day retreat, but The Universe had other plans....

If I recall correctly, last year it took me a few days to "plug back in" also and I had a hard time writing about the experience. Oh how I wish I had now.

Last year is, in my mind, a lovely memory of a week of great peace and discovery and ultimately, a greater awakening. The things I remembered were the food (delicious!), the walks (peaceful), the naps (also delicious).

The harder things are fuzzier in my mind: the early rising (4:00am), the hours of sitting with your legs crossed (painful), and the mind-numbing boredom that sometimes creeps in after 90 minutes (or sometimes 9) minutes of meditation.

This year was harder. Much harder.

Not being new to the techniq…

Wisdom from David Lynch

"Change begins within." --David Lynch

Wisdom from David Pond

"We are the custodians of our inner world." --David Pond



Even More Wisdom from The Universe (at last year's retreat)

"It's not about escape, it's about experience." --The Universe

Wisdom from Phillip Shepherd

"The precondition to sensitivity is stillness. In the same way that a pond on a still day will visibly register the smallest insect alighting on its surface, but on a windy day it won't, our ability to feel the whole is directly proportional to our ability to become still within ourselves." --Phillip Shepherd

Wisdom from Tao Porchon-Lynch

"Breath is the power behind all things. Your breath doesn't know how old you are; it doesn't know what you can't do. If I'm feeling puzzled or my mind is telling me that I'm not capable of something, I breathe in and know that good things will happen." --Tao Porchon-Lynch (a 94-year-old yoga instructor)

Wisdom from Anne Lamott

"One's heart is the only safe place to be. There's light there, there's company, and quiet." --Anne Lamott

More Wisdom from the Universe (at last year's retreat)

"I think no thoughts, and thus am free...." --The Universe

Wisdom from James Ishmael Ford

"Sit down, shut up and pay attention." --James Ishmael Ford

Wisdom From Eckhart Tolle

"If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place."  --Eckhart Tolle

Wisdom from The Universe (at last year's retreat)

"ENJOY, do not attach. SUFFER, do not attach. Be happy." --The Universe, at last year's retreat

Wisdom from Louise Gluck

“...[T]o make a place for light the mystic shuts his eyes." --Louise Gluck, from her poem "Bats"

Another 10 Days

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"If there is no peace in the mind...how can there be peace in the world?" --S.N. Goenka

Last year at about this time I went on my first 10-day silent meditation retreat at the NW Vipassana Center. When I came back, I knew I wanted to go again. And that time has come.

I leave today for another ten days.

Last year I was a bit nervous and unsure. This time, I am excited. I know what to expect and what will be expected of me. And I am ready.

I can't wait to sit in meditation for most of my waking hours. To walk in silence for all of them. And to be free from the constant barrage of mind-thoughts that I am subject to each day.

I look forward to oatmeal and stewed fruit for breakfast every day. To the delicious vegetarian lunch. And nothing but a cup of tea for dinner.

I know that there will be new things too. New ideas. New discomforts. New fears. I look forward to these as well.

While I am gone I will be posting one meditation quote every day to inspire your practice. I hop…

Are You Smarter Than a 6th Grader?

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"There shouldn't be a leash on life." --Tess

On Halloween my son invited one of his new middle school friends over to Trick or Treat with us. She is a delightful girl - warm. open, chatty and wicked smart.

I was cutting up apples for their snack and she asked if she could have some peanut butter to go with them. "It doesn't have to be much," she said, "My mom limits me to one tablespoon because she says I'll eat all the peanut butter."

She paused and then spoke words of wisdom I wish I had known when I was her age:

 "But why not eat all the peanut butter? There shouldn't be a leash on life." 
Ah-h-h-h. It was a deep-breath moment for me. I just stood still and breathed in the truth of these words and the truth that they had been missing from my world-view for far longer than was good for me.

I know it is time for me to start living without a leash. Cassie (see above) couldn't agree more. Thanks Tess!