Back into the world…
But did I really leave?
My time at the meditation retreat of Hariharalaya has come to a close (for now).
I emerge forth like someone awaking from a month’s long slumber.
Or perhaps like an awakened mind returning to sleep.
I walk away from that place amongst the temples, not with fear of the outside, not with expectations of what I will find. I merely walk into a new experience.
I walk away not with wishes for more time spent there, nor with an elation of freedom. I simply walk in a new direction.
I wish not for things that may or may not come to pass. I simply enjoy the feeling of walking.
I know not where it is that I walk to. I simply walk where my feet take me.
I ride upon the winds of the present moment.
The right here, the right now.
“So what was it like?” might be the first questions asked, and perhaps the most difficult to answer.
It was many things, changing day to day, and moment to moment.
- It was beautiful: a garden oasis of thatch huts and butterflies.
- It was peaceful: a relaxing place where one can lie in a hammock and contemplate the flight of a bee, or the path of an ant.
- It was friendly: a welcoming place, without judgment or pretension, filled with amazing individuals, whether they be friends for a time, or friends for life, they can certainly be called friends.
- It was delicious: a place where the food is not only delicious, it’s delicious and nutritious.
- It was fun: a place where where you can be free to dance like an animal, watch a magic show, laugh, and be merry.
- It was spiritual: a place of energy, where one can feel a collective intent.
- It was enlightening: a place of learning, full of books on a plethora of subjects, and knowledgeable individuals to teach first hand.
- And at times, it was difficult: a place to peel back the layers of ego, and gaze at what lies beneath. To overcome the resistance of ego. To strip away the fabric of our constructed selves, to dredge out all the emotions we buried in the hopes of self-defense. A place where a man can bring himself to tears by holding pigeon pose for as long as he can handle. Where frustrations can arise when one is unable to master an asanas routine. Where an acupuncture treatment can create an emotional response so powerful that one doesn’t know weather to laugh or cry or scream – “Take the needles out!”. Leading a man to walk barefoot down a road in rural Cambodia, trying to decipher what just happened.
- It was healing: a place where kindness and support can help one work through it. The physical, the emotional, the mental… where one can reconnect with spirit, with the true nature of the self. Where one can begin to understand the true meaning of letting go.
- It is: simply that, where one can just be. No regrets of the past, or anxieties about the future. Life simply is. Right here, right now.
So what did I take from it?
I believe that I received a great many things. Some for right now, some will be understood when the time is right.
The road is long, and the challenges are many, but what I got is a new ability to cope with the ever-changing nature of this life. With it’s ups and down, it’s peaks and troughs.
One cannot walk this life insulated in the hope of protecting themselves from pain and heartache. But one can have the ability to take it as it comes, not be derailed by a bump in the road. Life is not always how we wish that it might be, it simply is as it is, and if we can learn to be as we are, then we are more prepared to handle it.
We cannot expect things from the future, for what do we know of what tomorrow might bring? And we cannot change the past, so why live in that place? If we reside here & now, the we have the key to contentment.
So now I head in a new direction, where it leads I do not know. I have ideas of where it may take me, but nothing is concrete, for even concrete crumbles over time.
The world is a sea of impermanence, why should our plans be any different?
For now, I am simply here, writing a blog post, sipping a coffee, and enjoying the breeze on my face.
Well, I will let you know, when it becomes here & now…
And may you always be here and now,
it is a lovely place.