A very warm welcome!

Thanks for visiting this, my second blog! You can visit Heart and Soil to see what I get up to on our 40 odd acres of land in Exmoor, basketry, crafts and general things and stuff.

I thought I would start this blog off by doing a day by day diary of my 2008 solitary retreat. You can find my posts on the preparation for this retreat over at Heart and Soil on this link:

Many people have said to me that they wish they could do a solitary retreat, because 'they really need one'. That's why I decided to share one of my retreat experiences, to hopefully make going on retreat alone, a bit less mysterious and a bit more 'doable'.

Offered with much love for your continued happiness!

Solitary Retreat Diary

Please remember that in order for the diary section of this blog to make sense you should start from Day 1 and work your way through. At the moment the best way to do this is by using the labels list on the right.

I will compile a links list to make this easier when I have posted the last day... and when I have a minute!


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Day 7 - Cold wind blows, rain it falls

The weather is very windy, cold and rainy.

"We should work like the rain, the rain just falls. It doesn;t ask Am I making a nice sound below? Or, will the plants be glad to see me? Will they be grateful? The rain just falls, one raindrop after another. Millions and billions of raindrops, only falling. This is the open secret of Zen."
- Jakusho Kwong

Been reading a lot today. Mainly Dharma Rain. It contains great wisdom. I love it! Read Joanna Macy's interview with Inquiring mind. Lots in it. Mainly causality.

"If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear, people who can open to the web of life that called us into being, and who can rest in the vitality of that larger body."
- Joanna Macy. Dharma Rain pg 138
Had a very lovely afternoon, in the rain, under my umbrella. Sitting by the tree grove is just magical. Experienced some strong moments of interconnection. Looking out across the valley sparked a lot of these experiences. Until, that is, I noticed a bus stopping and 3 people get off and walk up the lane at the bottom of the hill. Probably to go to the farmhouse but it's so far away it was impossible for me to see clearly.

I've realised just how afraid of people I am. This whole retreat has been laced with an underlying fear of visitors. I can feel it knotting in my stomach now. I've really noticed this fear growing over the past few years. It's good to be able to observe it clearly.

Right then. Been painting, which was very pleasing. I also went for a walk around the block. Also pleasing. Got my map book out of the car on the way back to the cottage to see the route home. Questionable behaviour!

Had a very interesting sit. Breathing meditation for a bit, Just sitting for a bit longer and then the Sevenfold Puja, with the Avalokiteshvara mantra in the middle. I decided to do a full round of the mala beads - 3 om mani padme hum - per bead.

This enabled me to have a powerful realisation. I am grateful for this feeling of fear. It's the experience of suffering that I am here to better understand. If I was all lovely and cosy I might not have the chance to really observe my manifestation of suffering. So, tomorrow I'm going to just sit and observe my fear as it comes and goes throughout the evening.

Doing the mantra this evening ended in an intriguing experience (as part of my realisation about fear) I physically reacted to it. I felt kind of fuzzy all over and light. I kind of pulsated. Not lots of light or anything, hard to explain really. It felt very good.



Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. The first step in accepting and passing by any strong emotion is to first acknowledge it. Once you become aware you start to process through it, and will find that most of that emotion will pass from your life. As we pass from emotions into feelings we find that we are experiencing that feeling on a concious level, instead of letting an emotion burst in and pull us in one direction or another. As we find ourselves along our journey, we begin to fear less of the world around us, as we realize we are one with every moment and being.
I am so glad you are experiencing this retreat for yourself. Its a powerful process to look into ourselves. It sounds like you are experiencing some beautiful moments!

Anonymous said...

I like this stuff so I will in essence be talking to my self and whoever reads these comments can take from it what they will or nothing at all.

I have walked and am walking a similar path in life. I've never been a big fan of people, but after watching and observing my perceived self and the thoughts that arise and the trapped feelings of the past that bubble up to the surface, I've come to realize they are not me. In my world, we can choose to embrace anything, any energy, any manifestation, any thought and any feeling. But what humans are usually taught is that they own the things that come into their lives. If you believe you own something then on one level you do, but then these things then also own you and then they become hard to detach from. They act like demons, or if we overly like something, they become our gods. Peoples minds are so full from the past that they can't accept new feelings in their life. They live their lives responding to old and bottled up feelings called emotions. If one wants to escape suffering, then the emotions must be faced and processed. But this is the tricky part. There are many ways and rituals to make friends with our past and our fears. As we start watching our inner ramblings we can see and sense the thoughts and feelings before they arrive. You can anticipate the approaching wave and create a counter measure or throw an alternate current switch and say, this is not who I am and maybe spin the negative into a positive statement to direct the mind in a new direction and to give it a new association. The positive statement feels better, but it is still not you. We have just invited it into our selves. We are empty vessels. We can invite and embody any feeling or experience we choose to experience. If we want love in our life, we state the intention to let the spirit and essence of love into us. But trapping this feeling is not healthy. We do not own it. We must let it and all things go so that we can do it again with each moment. You take a step, you see something you like, you invite the energy into you, you thank it, and then you let it go. You have experienced a new point of view. But to let go of the old, we have to reprogram ourselves. We may have been cursed in the past by someone who told us something negative that we believed and took to heart, which caused us to injest some poison that we have not to this day let go. In my world, I have created the program or belief that every thought is a prayer or a wish and if I intend something, then I will believe it will eventually manifest and it will come true. But the key here is belief or faith, a knowing that what you believe is true. If one believes and says they are suffering, then they are trapped in suffering. The way out is to label your life and let go and consciously forgive the things that do not serve your mission or goals in life. Many things feed off of us and can waste our time on one level of looking at it. On another, nothing is a waste of time. Anyway, with fear, you recognize it as fear, feel the fear without rejecting or repressing it and thank the fear. The trapped feelings want to be acknowledged and processed and not ignored. So you ask them what they want, you thank them, you forgive them and anything you don't want in your life, and you can also forgive yourself for feeling any guilt associated with the trapped feelings or emotions. If negative thoughts or feelings continue to persist, you just watch them rise and allow them to fall and wash over you. There they are again. You wave and smile and wish them well. They will get bored with you and will wither away because they are not getting fed. I feel that when we fully accept ourselves for who we are, this will be the point when you will accept everyone else for who they are. We are all processing loops and are therefore loopy and we are all insane when and if we believe the ego or personality or role we play to be us. So the whole thing can be looked at as being comical. Everything is just a virtual game, a dream, an illusion. We are all fools. If you become lucid you can manuevor where ever you want in the game or in the matrix. People just don't know what they are doing. They are also not Being. They are lost in Knowledge. They are lost in cycling loops. They have viruses. etc. etc.

I am not sure if anything in this commentary is useful to you. It is useful to me and I am still trying to be comfortable with whatever energies that I encounter. Everything speaks and has a voice, like all the individual rain drops story says in your quote. Nothing should be denied their expression, but we should only invite into us what we want to experience.

I hope you didn't mind reading this kind of stuff. This is my Life. I mean no harm with the words I use. I am only telling a story. My story.

Transcend Luck and Just become what you desire. Please reject this comment if it doesn't suit who you are or if you don't want anybody else to read it.

hen said...

I don't have time at the moment to reply in full to these comments - we're right at the beginning of our winter solstice celebrations!

But I just had to say something. Thank you both so much for sharing your thoughts with me. I have read and taken in what has been offered and I am deeply grateful. I've decided that these comments will form part of my offering on the solstice. My offering of open hearted truths.

Hopefully others will read these comments too and be touched by them, as I have been.

This reply doesn't do justice to what you have written! I will be back!

in peace,

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