I’ve been soaking up the sun for the last few days and lordy it do feel nice! But it makes it hard to come back to the typer and attend to the blog postings.
I’ve been pondering a post about/around the fabulous self-directed retreat I took myself on to celebrate the longest day of the year – June 21st. I didn’t retreat far… I just went out to the Writing Burrow….
The Raggedy Man was working at the Legion on the Saturday and Sunday, so I had the days alone, though I had sweet four-legged company on the first day, as Zoe was bunking in with us while her humans went to a wedding down South.
I kept things simple. I rose up before the sun on the 21st….
Aside from the 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat I did in December, this was the first time I’ve gone on a retreat that wasn’t focused around WRITING. This was to be a way to mark the Solstice. Time…. to be alone, to walk in nature, to think and most of all… time to LISTEN.
I had some audio from the fabulous Jennifer Louden’s virtual retreat package. I chose 5 pieces to listen to (or not – depending how the day went). I also had a few things that I wanted to think on, work out for myself, put some attention on, and a rough shape for a Solstice Ritual based around the 5 elements that I planned to do in deep dark night.
So… there was listening to wisefolk and gleaning mucho wisdom. There was resting. There was Sitting in meditation. There was fun break time and cuddle time with Zoe. And there was walking time.My eyes were drawn to bees and dandelions.
I love bees. And they figure largely in a story I’m cooking up on the back burner right now. Hard workers. Dancers. Messengers. Creators of honey. Unlikely fliers.
The dandelions… I thought that was interesting. There is all manner of wild growth going on around these parts right now as the plantlife tries to “catch up” with the late start on warmth and sunshine. All manner of riotous growth along the roadside – though slightly slower growth in wee garden (sigh). But it was the dandelions I was drawn to.
I sat and thought about what messages sister dandelion might have for me.
I went into the retreat with the intention to listen and look and to see and hear – what is true for me, right now. I spend so much of my time planning for the future, or reviewing past events, wishing, dreaming, and so on. The vipassana practice and working with the ideas and folks from Sea Change are making me more and more aware of … the present moment – the sensations, the thoughts, and so on. I LOVE this!
I didn’t want to spend my retreat dreaming of what ifs, or revamping my schedule to fit in a million of the things I think I SHOULD be doing. I wanted to celebrate the things I AM DOING already. I wanted to see them, but not dwell too much. Not spend the days reviewing, but just … acknowledge… accept… embrace. And to just take the time to see the True and clear the way to move on.
What is true for me right now is…
What is true for me right now is…
What is true for me right now is that I am learning this already. I am learning to Let Go – like a dandelion seed and to trust the wind to carry me, the sun to warm me and the earth and rain to nourish me (rain rain RAIN).
I’ll stop here… for now… with a few pictures of the sunset on the 21st. It was a lovely day, and though I originally thought I would finish my retreat up when I woke in the morning after sleeping in the Burrow for the first time, I wanted to spend some more time listening to mySelf, so I carried on in silence until 4pm. Blessed and blissed when the Raggedy Man boated home that night.
I leave you with my newest favourite quote (a Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden)…
Renew thyself completely each day:
Do it again, and again,
and forever again.
May you feel and smell and see and taste the bliss of life this weekend. Listen.
go easy ~p
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Jamie writes about whatever.