Monday 30th March 2009
It’s official…I've got 2 extra days off work next week so my Easter break will be 6 full days.
6 days for a self-directed retreat at home.
The retreat is looming as a huge undertaking, not because of the days I’ve allocated for it…more the seriousness of what is at stake…success, failure, disappointment…
Why am I suddenly so nervous about it?
Gee, I need to lighten up a little.
Allocating the full 6 days to the retreat is unrealistic – I’ll have to spend at least half of the first day (Wednesday) shopping and preparing meals for it. And the final half day (Monday) will be split between my son and my boyfriend to bring me back into the world of people.
Which leaves 4 full days for the retreat plus a little bit on either side.
How strict should I be with the schedule?
And will I even be able to stick to a schedule with no-one else watching over me?
The alternative would be to lower the bar – to do a less intense sadhana retreat with the only requirement being solitude and silence. But four days alone to do whatever practice I feel like sounds more like a holiday…not serious practice.
I’d probably end up going for lots of walks.
So after going around in a circle, I’m back to where I started.
This has to be a serious retreat. And it needs to be well planned.
I need to remind myself over and over why I am wanting to do a solo retreat at home. Where is that urge coming from to sit in meditation for hours and days on end?
Grasp that desire, it’s an expression of my highest ideals, don’t let it go.
And don’t bother trying to explain it to anyone else.
“Practice is a form of enlightenment. It is being determined to live the life of a Buddha, of an awakened being, of a person who fundamentally vows not to harm other beings or oneself.
“The notion of considering practice as enlightenment is an uncommon perspective on sadhana. While clearly one isn’t enlightened simply because one practices, a life of practice that is impeccable in it refinement, intentionality, and reliability is an expression of enlightenment.”
“Enlightenment without practice tends to express itself in the world as laziness or indulgence, whereas impeccable practice, even without enlightenment, manifests as humility, intentionality, and an openness to further development.”