Yesterday I uncovered the clocks in the house as I took another step closer to ending my retreat. I am opting for a very slow transition out of retreat. Tomorrow, I will leave the premises. In part, I am wanting to go slow because I am attached to some of the changes that occurred during the retreat and I am hoping they will endure. As much as I am ready to be done with the isolation, I am committed to continuing the work I’ve been doing.
I originally prepared for a six week retreat. Going in, I was feeling ambivalent about retreating at all so I made a personal commitment to do two weeks with a reevaluation at that point in time. At two weeks I decided to end early, although I had not yet decided when.
It is a little hard to sum up what the retreat was like. I know when I started, but I’m not sure when I ended. The retreat started fairly predictable, with my usual combination of practices. Then, five days into the retreat my back went out*. This disrupted my flow, but I made a decision to work with the circumstances. Other disruptions followed that. Instead of being rigid about what practices to do, I began to entertain the question, “What will create the greatest benefit on my path?” and “What is the best thing for me to do right now given my capacities?”
This retreat was much more free form and open than I would consider a meditation retreat. The two things I was most hoping to accomplish I did. First, I was able to gain proficiency in the Mandarava practice. Second, I was able to take a deep look at the Access Consciousness® tools I’d been studying for the past six months.
As a result of Access, there have been some shifts within me creating a perspective that is in better alignment with my worldview. The retreat allowed me the time alone to integrate these changes. Before the retreat, habitual tendencies were propelling me forward and I was not as centered as I like. Now, I have a greater sense of center, but it still feels precarious. I look forward to worldly interactions to test my new flexibility.
* This is the first time in a year. The infrared heating pad has changed my life. I don’t use it when I travel and then neglected to start again when I got back home. Hence, my back went out. I am back using it all the time…