For those who need a couple of days away, to remember how to quieten their thoughts, but never quite take them...don't worry! That is you and 99.9% of the population. Luckily, I am a multi tasker - able to both take time out and take good notes.
|Retreat Friends and Facilitator Seamus Whitney|
The other good news is that you don't need days, you can start this minute. Pause in whatever you're doing and be cheered by the thought that there's the busy you but then you also have a higher self, your spiritual dimension that is, thank God, still connected at both ends; to your source and your body.
|"Downstream" Painting of Yours Truly, by Lara Cobden. This has just been finished and in synchronicity our meditation of the weekend was to push ourselves away from the shore allow ourselves to be taken downstream!|
Set an alarm if you need to, to break the spell of identification with your thoughts. Lively Up Yourself with a little music or a salute to the sun and then listen for that second voice, the wise one. I bet you it will whisper things like patience, peace, thank you, everything is okay, you're well able for this and calming, friendly things like that.
|Magic Whispering these things to Legend|
We learnt how to make friends with the present moment. Why? Because that is all we have. It makes sense that a string of contented moments will amount to a contented day, will overflow into the cellular structure of a contented body and overflow further into the creation of a contented environment.
|This is the cascade of one stream into another at the bottom of Harmony Hall's garden|
Probably few enough will be regular users of the word contentment so let me reverse it. If you hold resistance, resentment and stress to the present, past and future, respectively, that will surely also overflow into tension in the body and conflict in your environment
|Don Juan personnifying poise and perspective|
But just because you've been a bit of a pessimist all your life, or had horrendous luck doesn't mean that you can't change your frame of reference right now. In fact it is imperative you do if you want to make changes or be a loving input in anyone's life. So this is another paradox: you must have mental discipline not to stay with a negative thought as if it were the truth. It can only ever be the truth of your limited self, stuck in memory, stuck in form, stuck in a state of anxious alertness. Your real truth is that you are a lot more than that. You are here for a reason and we had better get on with finding it.
Therein lies the other paradox. Don't venture inside yourself with a view to finding something inparticular, like healing or the great motivation to get fit or run a proper business or get a qualification. Any one of these things or more might come about but the process must be expansive and not goal orientated. What's wrong with goal orientated? You are going into pass/fail territory! What is right with spending time listening to your inner guidance and intuition? You will gradually realize who you really are and your life experience will be a million times what it was:
|Organic Fruit and Vegetable Basket: All for me now I have stopped the catering, for the moment!|
To this end, I am no longer preparing food, clearing others, offering B&B, identifying with some lengthy job of being an advocate and activist. If you want to know what I think about things and how to transition and how to build your awareness of your divine spark, receptivity and compassion, I know for a fact I have written, painted and talked enough. If you want to remain indifferent to your own suffering or the suffering of others, good luck with that.
One last gem from the course: Do you know the difference between being efficient and being effective?
Being efficient is doing things right
Being effective is doing the right things...
I'm off to consult my depths and vivid imagination to weigh up with my intuition and decide what the latter might involve!
Start where you are now. When I went for walks far and near, I ran into anger and violence. Stop going out into the world looking for things. It was also pointed out to me that I had built a bridge clean across my own possibilities of love and happiness (Whoops, well everyone has a blind spot! Thanks Freya of The Peace Intention) So, I woke up to the sunshine and saw that in all ways I needed to explore my inner landscape and get right back in to the stream...however tentatively, I should put my wellies on, even if they did not turn out to be waterproof anymore and just pick my way through the rapids and falls and sparkling water. I thought I would find lots of dirty rubbish on this walking meditation which I feared would spoil it. I didn't find any. Just one saddle pad of Windy's, still inflated, two clean bottles and a steering wheel that came away no problem. So do not fear that if you 'go inside' you will find lots of toxic dark emotions as you may well find beauty beyond measure.
Also practice objectivity, not judging who and what turns up, on the way. For example all the animals showed up and Dakota was always there, pushing me down waterfalls and chasing a cat (who she's already banished from the house) and generally being the only one there apart from Cupid who's a perseverer and Don Juan staying way up high on the bank just in case. I love all the animals and love to watch them play and generally interact so a moment of irritation came, followed by a question: What does she represent that she so dominates the landscape? I realized in terms of my inner landscape how I make allowances for all the subtle energies and interplay of my ideas and emotions to be sidelined by one big babyish emotion - represented by Dakota taking up central space and needing attention!!
If you approach everything in life as a gift of insight, you will reach full awareness, your true nature and find your way home. It has got to be worth a go, every moment or so!