days in the sweltering heat of the South Georgia woods, and meditated for 10
hours each day. I am amazed at my own accomplishment, not having realized until
I was well into day 3 exactly what I had gotten myself into. At that point I had
already spent upwards of 20 hours focusing all of my attention on my nose.
Before I left, I thought that I would have some wonderful insights to share in
this blog post. I eagerly anticipated the earth-shattering awareness that
would flood my consciousness, completely alter my perception of myself and the
world, and solve all the unresolved issues in my life as an added benefit. But,
that didn’t happen. Ok, maybe I was being just a tad unrealistic. Maybe on
some level I felt I deserved this complete and total transformation as reward
for the hard work of sitting for hours on end. Yes, I know how ironic that
sounds. Some of you are probably smiling, thinking ‘Since when is sitting hard? Try running a marathon!’ My answer to you is simple – “Try it, you’ll see what I mean.”
Don’t get me wrong, insights did come, but not in the way I’d expected. As the focus of the practice was to remain unattached to what arose, they became fleeting glimpses of wonder that drifted through my consciousness, tempting me, but I did not indulge. Not most of the time, at least.
The most stunning part of this experience was the altered state of consciousness brought on by the combination of extended periods of meditation with the lack of interactions or distractions. The silence was beautiful, comforting and so incredibly peaceful. I resisted leaving this place of deep internal peace and ‘rejoining the world,’ reluctant to re-enter the environments of noise and chaos that typically surround us. But, alas, such is life.
After ten days of silence, I have only this to
In the very early morning,
from the chill in the air,
the energy of the new day slowly emerges.
As unique as a fingerprint,
as impermanent as a breeze,
it arrives, only to leave again.
If you are not aware, you will miss it.
You will be there, but not there,
in it, but not of it.
So be aware, be very aware!
Lest it pass you by
and be just one more moment,
one more day,
one more year,
one more lifetime,
lost to you forever.