Hi Everyone, I am currently on Day 3 in our Silent Retreat in Australia. I felt to share some thoughts/ experiences. I have been feeling much relief here basically since the direction was given by Frances for us all to go into Silence.
Giving myself this opportunity helped me to see just how much time and energy I have devoted thinking about how I should be around others. Oh my God, it’s incredible! It’s like I have been on automatic pilot my whole life. All the unwritten rules even around the one area of greeting people. When to say, “Hello,” “Goodbye,” whether to have a conversation, what to talk about…. And so much of this coming from a people-pleasing sense of obligation, a deep fear of really going within and listening and letting Spirit tell me what to say and do.
Well what a relief to gift mySelf with the chance to drop all of that for a while and really start to look at what is under these words and greetings.
I am starting to hear Spirit more clearly and my days are flowing beautifully. Again the silence is so helpful for this. It’s like the still, gentle voice within me has less chance of being drowned out because so many of my “normal” practices have been dropped. There are no distractions at all.
There is seemingly so much time available. Sometimes the prompt I hear will be one word—Forgiveness. And suddenly I feel this rush of inspiration to practice forgiveness. A brother will come to mind who I may still be carrying some upset with. And I needn’t look far. Suddenly thoughts and judgments I have of retreatants here come into my mind and the opportunities to practice forgiveness are ripe.
And I can feel my heart opening. Earlier this morning in my van thoughts would pop into my mind of much loved friends. Kirsten’s name came to my mind, accompanied with a flood of tears of gratitude. Then my friend, David, and then others. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and the tears are building as I type this. One of the other retreatants is in a van parked only a few feet from mine. I noticed thoughts of needing to suppress these tears and any sounds because this is a silent retreat and I shouldn’t disturb him. Perhaps this is more from ego, always wanting to suppress any love. But for now these tears and sounds can fall relatively noiselessly into my pillow.
It’s as though some of the concepts are starting to sink into the depths of my being. This Stillness is always with me. I recall so often in the past , perhaps after a deep meditation, being fearful to go out into the world. I was sure the Stillness was going to leave me. But it’s like I’m beginning to experience that it’s always and only ever been me that has done the leaving. I have, or tried to, depart from Spirit. But the Stillness will never leave me … how could it ? How could an eternal presence not be with me now? That’s impossible! I have been resting a lot these past few days. No wonder. What an effort it has been to deny this ever Present Love. And I sense how effortless it can be to flow with this Presence rather than to attempt to oppose it.
I sense this retreat will be a life changing experience for me. It has only just started and I feel much desire in my heart to allow Spirit to guide me in an ever deepening journey into this vast Stillness.
In love and gratitude,