May 15, 2010

Just because you listen harder

Doesn't mean you can hear better
Here at my yoga retreat in the hills of the Berkshires of Massachusetts we are participating in 'Noble Silence' or 'Social Silence'.

We are actively restraining the way in which we are accustomed to functioning in this world in hopes to become cognizant of the mind- to train the mind, and remind it that it's not the boss! This quiet time amplifies the conversations we have in our heads (our reaction to life, the story we hold on to) and hence sheds light on our dark areas. Withdrawal from constant stimulation also turns everything, not just sitting purposefully, into a meditation.

Meditation is noticing what's happening while it's happening and noticing your relationship to what's happening.

Wish me luck!!! I will be in stillness all this week, meditating for hours, wishing I were doodling. Sitting all day is no easy feat, it is the hardest pose in yoga after all: the pose, along with Savasana, that all the other poses lead up to.
What did I get myself into?!

I invite you to join me this week for your own retreat at home: a Media Respite!
I realize it is not practical to ask you to cut off all communication (that's what these hippy centers are for,) but I welcome you to take a break from unnecessary outlets of communication and stimulation.

For example:
Leave the TV off!!! (if you do nothing else, do this)
Exonerate the daily newspaper*
Forget the radio in the car
Give the iPod/iTunes/all i's and tunes a rest**
Refrain from random surfing and internet chatting

If you want to go the extra mile:
Exnay the gossip
Use the phone for purposeful calls only

Bonus points for:
Not texting
Sitting still and watching, bemused, your monkey mind.
It's b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

Choose one/a few/all/any of these suggestions and commit for the week. Right now: write down your plan and intention. Set up the time-line and the parameters. What do expect to get out of this? What will help you go through with it? I'll be right here with you, thinking of you! (I have nothing else to do.)

*we are so attached to the news and have countless excuses for the addiction, just TRY letting it go for a few days, see what happens. I promise you'll know if the world is ending.
**yes, music can be soothing, but silence, especially if it scares you, is the sound that will set you free. If you're not a granola, it can be the most deafening noise of all. This fear, as all things do, shall pass.

The only thing we can rely on is that we cannot rely on anything. The only permanent is impermanence.

I'll see you in a week.

Meditate like a glass of muddy water, sit and let the silt fall towards the bottom.

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