Off to the desert

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be headed off on retreat.  Last year’s retreat was a real milestone in my practice. Since then I’ve started this blog, developed a daily practice that really was a daily practice, went weekly to weekly sitting groups and read some wonderful books (The Island (Ajahn Pasano), Four Noble Truths (Ajahn Sumedho), Right Mindfulness (Thanisaro Bhikkhu) and I’m in the middle of the Wings to Awakening (Thanisaro Bhikkhu).  I’ve been experiencing my moments more fully and my sitting practice has deepened during this time. If I am being honest, I’d also have to admit that I’ve been preparing for this retreat. I can’t wait to see if some of the seeds I’ve planted will open up and flower.

I’m conscious of the pitfall of expectations. I’m also aware how wildly ironic it is to live thinking of the future in the form of a mindfulness retreat while overlooking one’s present moment experience. For this reason, I’ve developed a simple “redirect”: whenever I notice myself thinking of the desert -> come back to the present moment’s seeing, hearing, & feeling.  This routine has been triggered a lot this week.

To anyone reading this: be well, be happy and be sensitive to waves of metta coming from the southern California desert!

2 thoughts on “Off to the desert

  1. SaraYoga means union, so when we step those ten toes on the front of the mat, spread them out, drop the shroudels down, lengthen the spine, tuck in the tailbone, and bow our head and breathe, our body is allowed to be rooted and at once fall away to make room for the quiteness in the mind. With the deepening of our breathe (which is still our body because it is our muscles!) we slowly allow the mind to also fall away into simply being without judgment and full of forgiveness. When we have allowed ourselves to enter the space where our minds are still and peaceful, then the movements of our bodies, the asanas, in rhythm with our breathe, work in unison to free the body from its illusions, such as stress and fear, and to free the mind from its illusions, the trap of a dualistic, separated Self. So my feeling is no, we can never do a practice of yoga without being in yoga, or in unison, but we have to remember yoga is as much intention’ as it is action’. Anything else, being anywhere else, is just that, something or somewhere else on the path.

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