The benefits of going on retreat are many. Coming together with others you don't know who have a similar intention to let go of regular daily life with the stresses and expectations, and open to an unfolding of something else we don't usually pay attention to is a gift we can choose to give ourselves. We can come out of it nourished and centered, with greater capacity to engage in regular daily life when we return in a way that we may have been too burned out to beforehand.
Light vegetarian food, morning yoga and morning walks, the steady meditation of the rushing stream with moss on the rocks and between the crevices of the splits in the fallen logs was the backdrop. I sat in meditation with my sister who came with me. We sat together with the group, to pay attention. To focus our attention in a way we usually don't do, since its almost impossible to do unless you are intentional about it. When I focus my attention on an object such as my breath, I can get to the state where things competing for it fall to the backdrop and space becomes available. I am praciticing slowing my breath, and in turn, slowing my mind where it feels that time is slowing down, and a space becomes open that usually isn't. I want to be in this space, explore it, be open to what I can receive from it. Is it the void that ancient tribal traditions refer to? I think it is, or has something to do with it. The void where creation springs forth.