Settling into our new space,
committing to being present, honest,
honoring ourselves and others,
embracing this new experience,
giving ourselves permission
to be and to feel…completely…
I’m reminded of what a retreat really is:
a stepping back from the everyday routine
allowing deeper wisdom to emerge,
wisdom that has been obscured
by habitual modes of existence.
It’s seeing with new eyes
and feeling with an open heart.
It’s resting and nurturing one’s spirit.
My inner critic has been loud,
asking How dare you do this?
But it’s getting a little quieter
as my true self emerges
ready to learn,
to be grateful for the learning.
Trust in the enfolding.
Your little eyes see enormous things
but they can’t see everything.
Isn’t life more beautiful
when viewed from the mystery of being?
Give life a chance to surprise you.
Follow your own star,
see where it leads you.
Everything is not what you think it is.
Drop your awareness deeper,
beyond what you think you know,
into the realms of your heart
and your gut.
This deeper listening
will open you to a world
that was always there,
but wasn’t available to you
because of the fortress of thinking
you built around you
to give you ground
in a groundless, eternal
experience of being.
Let go of any notion
of control, of a fixed reality,
of how things should be.
You might just be amazed
the way that they are…
Settling into the gentleness of night,
noticing my body asking for rest,
a wave of gratitude sweeps over me
reminding me of what is right in this world.
When my mind and heart are open enough
I can see that everything is right with the world,
and even the things I don’t like
or the people with whom I don’t agree
all have their place in this world.
My heart opens even further
and a perfect breeze stirs me to my depths.
I could spend my whole life
seeking to understand the mystery of this moment.
What does it mean to let go?
It means setting down
goals and agendas
and opening to this moment.
How do we do this?
First we recognize
that we have been attempting
to further our own interests,
gritting our teeth,
pushing against reality,
trying so hard to make things happen
according to our idea of how they should be,
holding onto expectations
until we are white knuckled and exhausted.
Then we choose to stop
this stressful way of being.
We take a deep breath and let go.
Some might say that letting go
is giving up,
but I say it’s an opening to peace.
With such clarity
we intuitively know what is to be done.
This kind of surrender
makes available our most precious resources.
If you find yourself stressed
and anxious about something,
ask yourself where you are at war with reality,
and if you’re ready for it
choose peace instead.
Choose to let go.
For one moment,
and just observe.
The consciousness in you
can take in this moment,
can see all of it,
experience it fully,
without the labels
the mind invents
in its desperate attempt
to comprehend the incomprehensible.
And as soon as we start
our focus in narrowed
and we can no longer see
the big picture–
we see only the thing
we are labeling.
Let the one who questions
rest for one tiny moment
in the neutral space of being.
Turn your awareness back inside
to look at your awareness.
Begin to sense the infinite nature
You will grow giddy
and be delighted
by the most simple
Who is the watcher behind your eyes
and the listener inside your ears?
Who is the speaker inside your mouth
and the thinker within your mind?
When you are thirsty,
who reaches for the glass of water,
and who decides when your thirst
Who are you?
Your name is not enough,
neither is your gender nor your age,
nor your job, nor whom you know
nor to whom you are related,
nor are your experiences enough
to describe who you are.
There is a self beyond all of these,
a self that witnesses your name,
your history, your likes and dislikes,
your hopes and fears,
your elation and your heartbreak.
This self witnesses your experience
of bodily sensations
and yet it is not your body.
Who are you?
Who are you really?
Mere words cannot contain you,
nor can pictures or sounds of any kind.
The indescribably beautiful awareness,
the consciousness of your consciousness
cannot be defined.
Let it rest then.
Let the self rest and observe
and settle into the place of witness.
Keep asking the question
Who am I?
And perhaps one day
the timeless ground of being
the open doorway
the infinite nature
of the self, the true self,
the source of all that is.