Silence is essential and healing…
Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote says that silence is essential. It’s an important reminder about the need to pause, to give the mind a rest and to notice how the mind is relating to what’s happening in the moment. It’s an opportunity to wake up out of stories and to shift the attention towards what helps us reconnect with the aliveness that is right here, in this body, this breath, this mind and heart. As we do that we sense the energy, the awareness of what’s arising in this moment and to meet what’s here with compassion. and what is it that we are bringing compassion to? It’s the acknowledgement about how difficult and challenging life can be. This seeing in this deep mind is an opportunity to begin to respond to the reactivity, the anxiety, the resistance that is often present when we sense some level of pain or fear.
Taming the Monkey mind
Beyond thoughts, beliefs and stories there is life. We live so much of our moments lost in thought. Lost in fantasy; past memories or future stories. Mindfulness practice invites us to come home to the present. Silence supports us on this journey. When we go on retreat it helps us open to the potential of resting in this silence, where aliveness, compassion, and wisdom reside.
Silence is an essential part of this practice. Going on retreat supports this; both by providing the container of retreat as we turn the attention towards the inner world of heart/mind. So the silence is supported both by the practice and the environment. As one of our retreatants stated at the end of retreat, “I loved spending time in the meditation room…there was a feeling of being in a sacred space.” Erika U.
“We allow the silence and the calmness to penetrate our flesh and bones. We allow the energy of the Sangha/spiritual community and its mindfulness to penetrate our body and mind. We go back to our activities slowly, aware of every step. ” Thich Nhat Hanh
This is the invitation on retreat. As we set aside the busyness, distractions and demands of daily life and enter the container of retreat, we connect with life as it is. We allow the silence and calmness to penetrate deeply. And as we do, we move beyond concepts and ideas about the way life should/shouldn’t be. We slow down the rhythmn and pace of thoughts, shifting from thinking mind; we connect with the alive sensation of the breath, the hum of the body, the healing power of the heart. The retreat is arranged in such a way that the conditions are set up for a journey that offers the possiblity of deep healing and transformation.
Stay Patient and Trust Your Journey…
In this secluded and sacred space there is an opportunity to see life beyond the conceptual world of thoughts, stories and beliefs. It’s not that the thoughts and stories don’t arise, it’s that we get to see it in real time, to experience the effect it has on our mind/heart and the body. In shifting from living in our heads, to experiencing life as it happens, there is choice in how to relate to what is happening. When pain arises, whether it’s emotional, physical or psychological, can we stay present for it? Can we feel it in our body and heart without adding to it? Or do we resist it through our thoughts. If we resist it, how does it affect our body, mind and heart? And when this happens can we meet this resistance with the compassionate power of the heart and the acceptance of the wise mind? This is the journey towards purifying the mind and awakening the heart of compassion.
Within the sacred space of retreat, surrounded by like minded travelers, you have the opportunity to go on this very special journey of freeing the mind and opening the heart to life, love and joy. Won’t you join us? As Rumi so wisely asks “And you? when will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
Our next retreat is Jan 3rd-7th, at Casa San Carlos Retreat Center in Delray Beach, Fl. To register go to 5 Day Mindfulness Retreat.
May you be well…