I’m almost back to normal. I no longer eat a snail’s pace savoring each individual bite. I now speak with my usual cadence and volume. I haven’t caught myself standing still as a statue simply to take in the all the sights, the smells and sounds in the moment. And, it’s been a week now since I have petted a tree. You can look at this in one of two ways: either I have been fully re-integrated into daily work-a-day life or; my retreat mind with all its openness and presence has dis-integrated.
Which is not to say I have not been changed, touched by my experience. I most certainly have. But, lately I am having more thoughts about attaining an iPhone 3Gs than I do have about attaining liberation. When I first got home all I wanted to do was to go back outside and listen to the birds and feel the warm sun on my cheek. My boyfriend, computer and TV made me somewhat apprehensive. How was I to hold on to this extraordinary state of mind in my all too ordinary life?
It’s a process, I guess. My friends and people at work have been incredibly supportive. I had to laugh when I came into the office and one of my colleagues shouted “Child! You can come in here and sit down and talk all you want.” Apparently the rumor was that I was going to be silent for two whole weeks and that I would going straight from retreat to work. I certainly appreciated the sentiment, I just wish it wasn’t necessary to shout it. I love the people I work with and around, but damn! they are loud. On the home front it has been a bit easier. After the simplicity of life on retreat, it did occur to me I have a lot of stuff. Oh, and a lot of dust. But, my home meditation practice has definitely improved. And while I may not be as motivated to do all the work necessary to turn my yard into a serene meditative garden, I still think I will place some bird feeders in hopes of surrounding myself with more bird songs
As time moves on, I know my retreat will feel more and more distant. But, I also know that I will still be able to occasionally touch the stillness that remains underneath all the clutter of everyday life.
I had a very pleasant surprise the other day. I opened my email to find an inquiry from an editor of a small newspaper located out near Spirit Rock. He asked if the could print an abridged version of my last post – Excerpts from my retreat journal.
While this may not be the most assertive strategy in getting myself published – I mean writing my little blog with a readership of maybe 50-75 hits a day and waiting for editors to come flocking to me seems a tad lazy. But, hey, that’s the way uh huh uh huh I like it uh huh uh huh.