Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back to It

When you do a retreat, the question always arises of how you bring it back to the real world. How is it that we can bring that calm centered feeling to our often hectic work and personal lives?

There is no trick to this. No easy answer or short cut. But we can notice, as often as possible, where we are without judging any of it.

Peter identifies several obstacles to unconditioned awareness. Among them are our attachment to suffering, our need to know, our need to be doing things, and our need to create meaning. We can test these. We can begin to notice how these obstacles permeate our lives.

How do we feel when they are present? How do we feel when they are less so?

The other thing we can do is find time to engage in a contemplative practice such as just sitting.  When we sit in contemplation, we begin to become aware of our thought patterns, and how thoughts, feelings and sensations arise and fall away. Over time, those things that we think define us tend to loosen a bit. We find a bit more space in our lives.

When we find the beginnings of a space between what is happening and how we react to it, we are well on the way to bringing a broader perspective into our lives. There may not be a process to do it, but, over time, it does happen. We may still panic, or get frustrated, or angry, but those thoughts and feelings can begin to have less urgency.


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