Two deadlines looming.
That sounds like the beginning of a poem.
The poetry of living with a dramatic, expressive mind using dramatic, expressive language. And noticing time limits approaching.
Deadline #1: Next week, Wednesday April 30th is the last day to register for Breitenbush Hotsprings Retreat and get the Early Bird super low fee for a four-day retreat ($395). June 25-29th.
To register for this luscious time for body, mind, spirit….you must call Breitenbush. You have to actually phone them, the old fashioned way 503-854-3320.
Deadline #2: May 3rd the last mini retreat for several months. We meet in Seattle at Goldilocks Cottage, limited to ten participants.
Here’s the wonderful thing about both of these retreats:
Contact live and in-person with your inner world, through showing up, making connection, being there, putting your stake in the ground.
One is four hours.
One is four days.
Which one would you like to attend?
And really, have you noticed how dramatic and expressive the voices inside tend to be? Because the word DEADLINE is kind of intense.
Cross the line (probably headed in the direction of the prison wall) and you were going to be…..well, dead.
Back to earth….and present reality….I have questioned this “deadline” when it comes to retreats, and even the description of it as “looming” and found neither one to be true.
But I have found that making friends with my own thoughts, patterns, conditioning, and all that I have absorbed and assumed to be true…..
…..a matter of life or death of happiness.
Navigating life while also believing in terrible danger, loss, chaos, horror, fear, devastation, and tragedy is very hard.
It feels like death warmed over, as my grandma used to say.
If your own mind aims at you like a guard, every time you approach an invisible line, telling you to step back or you’ll be dead, you might feel very much like you’re trapped in hell.
The way to begin, if you really feel depressed, concerned, anxious, fearful and lost….is to write down everything that you feel upset about.
What’s dangerous? What’s horrifying?
You may have a long list. That’s OK. You may have a short one. That’s OK too.
I hate that we have to die, I hate that my marriage ended, I hate that this world is confusing, I hate that my child suffered, I hate that I lost my previous better life, I hate the absence of money, I hate my own mind, I hate that there are starving banished people, I hate how some people treat others.
The world is a confusing (or terrible) place.
Now pick just one concept, to begin the process.
It’s hard for the mind to stop and pick just ONE objection.
But that’s where The Work of Byron Katie begins. Self-inquiry has started here in many other forms of inquiry as well, for centuries of human spiritual and existential investigation. Looking at ONE concept or principle at a time.
When I gather together with others, we have a landing place. The runway. We all get on the airplane together. The group energy and intent sets a tone to stay, look together, not to go off on tangents or avoid difficult feelings.
During your inquiry, or afterwards, you may take off.
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” ~ Pema Chodron
Gathering with others, we build together, even if we don’t know the outcome. We’re on retreat for the purpose of looking at our thoughts, our beliefs, our perceptions of the world.
Nothing has been more life-changing for me that asking if it is true when I believe something troubling.
I might have done this all by myself on a desert island, but despite my occasional plans to go live in a monastery, my life has turned out to be active and of this world.
Retreats happen in the middle of it all. My best investigation has been done in the presence of other investigators.
“Let’s remember why we’re here at retreat: for this amazing opportunity to really look into the core of our own existence, the core of life itself that is so easy to overlook. It’s so easy not to pay attention to it, because it’s not noisy and it’s not clamoring for attention like all the other aspects of the human mind……So we come here to give our attention, our affection, our time. Our most highly prized commodity is our time. Anything or anyone you give your time to shows immediately what is most important.” Adyashanti
Is it time to join with others for four hours, or four days, to really look into the core of your existence? To break through all the chatter, anger, war, discord and angst keeping you feeling trapped?
If YES, then come, come, wherever you are.
Much love, Grace