Retreat Post Compilation

2011-05-04-1SpiritRockNow that I am unplugged from my devices and to-do lists, I get to find out what my mind is really like. And who I really am.
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I tend to feel very mortal when I’m on retreat. Without to-do lists, email, blog posts, relationships, calendars, there’s just my basic human mortality – the pulsing, vibrating, sensing of pleasure and pain in the body, and my mental habits. There is nothing else external to distract you from the simple truth of body sensations of pleasure, pain, and neutrality coming and going, mental states of grasping and aversion coming and going. It’s all very elemental. You see yourself as being a natural process which is limited in duration. The preciousness of life becomes abundantly apparent.
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When I sit with all my mortalness in meditation, I am apt to reflect on the things I am doing in my life and whether they are an adequate expression of that precious mortality. Am I living the right life? I don’t tend to ask this questions when I am caught up in the everyday details of my life. But on retreat, with nothing around to mirror my assumptions about what is important and worthy of my attention, I am forced to become intimate with my elemental aliveness – to be intimate with the simple fact of being human. And when I can do that, the great questions start to resonate.

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