Welcome to Week Twelve of Beyond Self 2012 in SunnyRoomStudio.
As you know, this is the second phase of our spiritual retreat. We are now sitting on the bench of enlightenment to gain a deeper perspective of all the weeks prior. And we are resting a bit. If you’ve been keeping a journal since September, I bet you have recorded many insights along the way. If you are new to the idea of a “spiritual practice” … I hope you are finding many reasons to commit to one. Talking about spirituality is fine, but actualizing your vision is quite another. How is your journey going? Remember, small steps are fine. Small steps can be huge. Each moment, begin again. Continue to try to go beyond mental reactions that are habitual, conditioned, and automatic. Have you found the space within that is beyond good or bad, this or that, yesterday or today? Are you finding it easier to be that space, avoiding endless circles of thought that consume all of your energy?
Light is a space, not a subject. ~ Ansel Adams
WEEK TWELVE: Beyond Self 2012
Week One: Extend Your Gaze
Week Two: Always Evaluating
Week Three: Being Brevity
Week Four: Entanglement
Week Five: Beyond Attachment
Week Six: Eternal Nature
Week Seven: If Only
Week Eight: Nonresistance
Week Nine: Caught Up
Week Ten: Daily Life
Week Eleven: Just Look
Meditation or “sitting” (zazen) sounds easy, doesn’t it? Or at least it sounds like something you can easily skip over in a busy day. But can you? Can you really calm a frenzied and reactive mind without learning how to go beyond thought for extended periods of time?
Information is just bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together.
Wisdom is transcending them. ~ Ram Dass
If you have skipped over the importance of meditation during this retreat, thinking you don’t really need to do it, or that someday you’ll get around to that, please understand that NOW is the time. Death can come at any moment; the swirl of form we all contend with, can also change at any moment. To experience your spirituality, indeed to deepen it, meditation is one of the best vehicles you will ever find. What spiritual master hasn’t talked about quieting the mind, or about “prayer” and contemplation? It’s all the same concept. Don’t waste precious energy debating terminology. Begin what you are avoiding. Always begin. Let your inner awareness, your intuition, your spiritual essence … take you beyond the limitations of form. The bench, the sitting cushion, the floor, a Zen rock garden … go with whatever you can find. And maybe 10 minutes is all you can manage. Fine. Start there, build on that.
In any setting, we can allow a gap and let natural openness
come to us. Find a way to slow down. ~ Pema Chodron
To transcend that which you have always considered “normal” … that is the goal this week. To transcend the back and forth of mind polarities. To experience yourself as a peaceful, expansive, spiritual being. To go beyond the very temporary self you have been constructing (with the help of family, friends, and society) since you were born.
- But what is there, you ask. Everything.
At any moment you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit, or further away from it. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
And thanks to all of you who are quietly participating. I appreciate your presence. We are all works in progress.
See you again next Friday for Week 13 of Beyond Self 2012.
Time is temporary. Soar beyond the external threads, the maladies of daily life.
~ D.A. Hickman, Kindred Spirit Quotes
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu
Blog by DazyDayWriter @ work in SunnyRoomStudio: all rights reserved.