Silent Retreat Meditation

The heart of our modern problem. Our daily lives are crowded, our minds are continually taken away from the here and now, constantly focusing on a problem, a thought, an emotion. Often these things are merely distractions. They aren’t truly important. Certainly there are some things that are important and critical to our families and our daily lives but in this modern, crowded world it is quite often difficult to find the time to sort out the important from the unimportant. Then we come to our bodies. We find it difficult to give our bodies the attention they deserve. We eat when we find time and grab what we can. Convenience food, processed food. We do jobs which result in us sitting for long periods, often in incorrect postures. Many of us don’t even walk correctly.

Then in 1989 after leaving a Sunday Service and walking slowly around the grounds (Self Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades, California) after learning a few special meditation breaths which I did for the next 6 straight hours as I drove North alone to Coast Highway 1 in Big Sur. I got to Big Sur and Esalen and experienced lower Samadhi. I entered the grounds in a heightened state of awareness. Peace and bliss most profound was amplified by being and intending to be constantly more aware. It was an act of will. I did not have to answer phones or drive a car or order merchandise or deal with customers (my store was at its financial peak — and I left an employee in charge).

Learn to relax more. A few minutes relaxation each day will help you to keep on top of things. A good way to relax yourself is to find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, sit or lie comfortably and just focus on your breathing for a while. To stop your mind from wandering, try saying ‘I am,’ on the in breath and ‘at peace’ on the out breath. Breathing in – ‘I am’. Breathing out – ‘at peace’. I use this technique with my meditation groups baltimore and it really helps to stop the mind from chattering and spoiling your relaxation. You only need to do this for about ten minutes a day, and you will gain many benefits, not least that you’ll begin to look forward to it, and you’ll feel more in control of yourself and your life.

Someone might show specially prepared museum quality photos of petroglyphs (300 — 20,000+ years old from the Coso Range) aka cave drawings. Or as we sit in circles on pillows we may listen or share the stories of our lives — or might get in touch with deep seated feelings. Others may temporarily doze off.

Outside of Huxley at night there could be a fire in the wood burning fireplace. A world renowned Schooner Operator could be playing classical guitar alone. While at the other end of the deck a couple of people are sipping tea or coffee. Others coming up from the baths refreshed and ready for sleep. Couple of raccoons vibrating calmly nearby as a mystical lady tells you to fear not. Their scent uniquely pungent still to my memory. Sounds of nature flourish. Sparks from the crackling fire fly up into the gentle breeze of the cool crisp evening toward the star filled universe surrounding us. Stratus clouds intermingle with silhouettes of tree branches.

Have you seen spots at the movies? Next time you go to a movie, see if you can notice spots appearing periodically in the corners of the screen. These spots are clearly visible to the aware eye. They are placed there as signals to projectionists to switch reels.

Waiting for the perfect time to get started often results in nothing happening. Don’t fall victim to that mindset. Start now. There will never be a perfect time. Life is always happening, and with it comes all sorts of unexpected surprises, which can sweep away the best of intentions if you let it. And once you do get started, don’t give up. Although meditation is magical, it doesn’t have instant results in the same way a magic spell might. It takes time and commitment. It is a practice. And I promise, practice won’t make perfect, but it will make for an experience of personal growth, transformation, and a happier and more fulfilling life.

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