On saturday I got to go for my first day-long retreat since Anjali was born eighteen months ago. I can’t believe it has been that long! We did sitting and walking meditation most of the day from 9.00am to 4.00pm and were led by a wonderful, funny, wise and skilled teacher called Chas Dicapua from IMS. I was excited for my first retreat and nervous too because I haven’t sat for long periods of time in a while.
The day came, and the morning was busy making lunches and saying goodbyes to hubby and daughter. I reached there on time, hallelujah. Most of my sits were very sleepy and I realized how tired I was. The sitting was physically difficult. I was hungry as well during the morning sittings, and sat there waiting for lunch time. But sometime in the afternoon during a sitting, I came to ‘know’ that I was sitting, that this was the retreat I was waiting for. And that realization brought joy with it.
Even though the sleepiness remained, there was no longer any judgment about it. I could relax, be compassionate and cheerful through my sits and my sleepiness. Around 3.00pm, during the dhamma talk, I caught this thought in my head – ‘I can’t wait to go home and have those oatmeal raisin cookies. yum!! and see my family and hear Anjali’s sweet voice say ‘knock knock, whose in?” When I heard this thought, I found myself laughing – inside. Here I was at this retreat I had been waiting for – and now I couldn’t wait to get home!! The story of our lives.
Coming back from a retreat was hard – it always is. They should have instructions on that! I was miserable because all my reactivity stared me in my face. I was very tired. And I wanted to go back and have some more of that quiet, of that joy of stillness. The ‘opening to your experience’ that the teacher had talked about, seemed impossible to do. And in the middle of my suffering, I wondered if I would ever regain my equanimity.
Everything changes, nothing lasts forever. Thank Goddess! There was a moment when I came back from a walk, and saw, really saw my daughter and how beautiful and alive she looked. In that moment, the joy in my heart returned, and the connection with this moment right now, happened. I could let go of my need for my experience to be other than what it was in this moment, right now.
So here I am, on a monday morning – feeling just ordinary. body breathing, sitting, hands writing. knowing what gladness arises when we go inside. and how we have to let go of everything, every day, every moment, to be truly happy.
With Love, S.