Going away to come home
I am packing up my woolly long-sleeved things and getting ready to head down the Pacific Coast to take a five day workshop around spiritual practices.
See this photo? That’s what I’ll be looking at, unless Divine Humor sends fog and rain instead.
I’m trying not to interfere with life’s grand unfolding by inserting expectations about how it will be. Still, I am giddy with excitement. A retreat! And not a silent retreat, and not a retreat where I have to sit much longer than an hour. My desperate needs to move and talk would make me a lousy Trappist.
Why this now? I think I am hoping to bring something home in my pocket. I want to bring home a more solid prayer-and-meditation practice.
When I worked in a corporate environment the regular hours lent themselves better to a daily practice. But in grad school, writing another book and attending meetings upon meetings, Monday looks nothing like Tuesday. Last week is different from this week, and in several weeks the schedule will change again.
In this environment, attaching practices to a specific hour is a misguided venture. I take heart from swaying grasses on the sides of a swift river. The stems bend to wind and water and it doesn't matter; their roots hold firm.
I know by now that I like to split the practice itself into two parts. The rhythm two parts is both restful and productive. There’s the beginning of the day, where the essential action is to connect to my power source. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But I do have to be willing and active about it.
The second part might be called, “How did I do?” In remembering the day I get a chance to relive all the good parts--that's double the joy! And I can ask for help around the not-so-good. Without this afternoon/evening part, I’m on permanent forward thrust without a rudder.
And would it hurt to add a couple of sun salutations every day?
Maybe a stronger, more solid yet easily portable practice will emerge from this workshop, maybe it won't. At least I've spent some time thinking about my intention for going, and later this evening, if I remember to remember, I'll get to relive that little piece of joy.
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