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!


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Day 11 - I See Monkeys in the Wall - Morning

Got an insight into the non-linear nature of existence in this mornings sit.  How it's all connected and why it is important I practice .  The Bodhisattva ideal is the way.

Which is nice.

As I said the other day, anger, hatred, attachments... exactly what am I directing them to?  A bundle of atoms and expressions of the effects of causes that are so infinite as to be indefinable.  There's not one bit that can be grasped on to in order to direct the anger, hatred, fear, attachments.  So the feelings dissipate.

Personally I think this mornings sit was so productive because I was wearing my horny head bag.

Funny faces are great!  I took a couple of photos last night of me wearing my new hat.  As today is an insightful day, while I was looking at the photos I saw the four stages of hen...  I haven't laughed so much for ages!  I nearly wet myself, tears, actual tears running down my face. Love it!

I am here in dependance upon 'others'.  Well, 'others' is not a satisfactory term.  Any kindness shown to me, benefits all beings.   Any kindness I show, benefits all beings. 

The causes that led to me being sat on this seat are infinite.  We are all connected.  Everything is connected.  All things really do arise in dependance of a cause.

I suppose in order to carry that wisdom with me throughout everyday life I will need to practice as much as I can so it becomes habitual.

I read a bit more of  'What is the Dharma' by Sangharakshita it is so well written.  Very readable and friendly.  I think I am beginning to understand a little about Buddhism.  With the help of that book, my retreat experiences and my nature.  I think I am finally getting it.

It is really quite important that I join a Sangha and get stuck in.  

I saw a stoat today.  I think it was a stoat.  Beautiful, quite slinky and small.  I startled him.  There is a beautiful cow asleep on a grassy mound.  Curled up like a dog, her head resting on the ground, fast asleep in the sunny rain.

It's not right how much I love Boursin.


sarah said...

I love the idea of this retreat, although I am not very good at conventional meditation...too much brain chatter... I have, in the last six months though, started on the Holosync program which I am finding hugely beneficial and the idea of slipping away for a couple of weeks on my own sounds heaven. Would you do it again? BTW love your other blog too!

hen said...

Hello Sarah,

I'm not very good at meditation either, that's why I'm practicing so much. I reckon that when you have no brain chatter, you're pretty much enlightened!

I've never heard of the Holosync program, what's that?

This solitary retreat was my second one and I've attended many group (Buddhist) retreats. I crave solitary retreats now I've been and think about it often. I think I will go on one this year, for maybe a month this time. It's hard to get someone to look after my dog for that long though, so it'll take some planning!

Right, i'm off to explore your blog Sarah! Good to meet you!


Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Great post. I've tried meditation as well, and it is rather difficult. But the few times I "got" through the process without the brain chatter was well worth it. You've reminded me to get back to it. Much needed since I started blogging. I love information and it can "overflow" and clog up the mind quickly.
P.S. Enjoyed Willow on your other blog:)

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