“There’s no time to waste!” That’s what dropped in emphatically several days into my participation in Summer of Sangha in Sequim. It felt like a gauntlet had been dropped, seemingly pointing to THIS IS the time to “practice like your hair is on fire.” I now see that what dropped in was a reminder. I have this one precious life to end suffering and there is no time to waste, ever, in freeing this person from egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate so she can live in the Unconditional Love that is. The retreat, offering meditation, Recording and Listening exercises, yoga, workshops and guidance, provided a beautiful wakeup call to up my Practice.
Several days into the retreat I heard an internal voice moan, “There is just too much meditation here.” It’s wonderful when conditioning reveals itself so blatantly! At that point I committed to adding more meditation to my daily life. The significant resistance since arriving home hasn’t been a surprise and support from the Mentor has been tremendously helpful in keeping conditioning at bay.
Individual guidance at the retreat was so generously provided it allowed me to check in repeatedly with the Guide on my continuing quest to give up thinking and rest in “the space between the thoughts.” Again, with persistent practice and guidance, memories arose of the experience of resting in that place. To strengthen and expand the experience I have renewed the practice of setting the timer several times a day to stop for at least a couple minutes and sit in that quiet place of deep relaxation, resting with the breath and heartbeat, opening to the space between the thoughts. Thankfully the ability to access that place is growing.
R/L was an essential part of the retreat. That and my recent participation in the “Keeping Commitments” Buddy Program have revealed areas where conditioned beliefs and assumptions still reside. As a result, expanding my relationship with the Mentor through daily, multiple two-handed recordings has become a priority. Huge resistance informs me how critical this commitment is.
Another wonderful gift of the retreat was the “Love calling” theme of the workshops. At the Guide’s suggestion, “I choose unconditional love” has become a response I practice with daily. This and “I love you,” suggested as a practice years ago, seem sure-fire responses to stopping conditioned thinking in its tracks.
I am upping my Practice commitments because I was reminded and saw so clearly during Summer of Sangha recollecting what I truly am, the Love and Compassion that is, requires dedicated vigilance and daily commitment to practicing “like my hair is on fire.” In addition to the new practices, the Yearlong Retreat, Reflective Listening Buddies, Open Air, workshops, email classes, Practice Everywhere and Daily Peace Quotes continue to provide essential support.
Years of practice have only increased my awareness of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate as a worthy opponent. And there is such profound gratitude that Practice generously provides the path, tools and guidance for recollecting the overriding love of True Nature. It supports my willingness to make the commitments necessary to end suffering moment by moment.