Silent Meditation Retreat with Adyashanti
I must say I am thrilled to have the opportunity to deepen into this great, deep silence……….who knows what will happen in this great adventure into the unknown? The inner dive, swan dive, into mystery. I will be unavailable in communication – on a silent meditation retreat – from tomorrow until the 22nd Aug, when I will be back in action.
I want to share a few more learnings from the Ammathon (as a friend rightly called it!), which I hope will benefit you. During the program in Toronto, Amma said something which really struck me. She said, “Vasanas have no power of their own. It is we who give them power.” I realised in that moment, how powerless negativity really is. Her statement also cut through, in me, the tendency to become so familiar with something, that I begin to misuse it. What I mean is that I have talked about my ‘vasanas’ (latent negative tendencies) or issues or behaviour so many times, I can forget that it is I myself who permits them to have the power they have and who actually gives that power to them. I thought this could strike a chord for many of you as well. I would add that it is our tendency to identify with such internal arisings, which is the mechanism by which we give them the most power.
The most core life story I had, the one which had most coloured my experience of reality in this lifetime, came up during the last couple of days with Amma. We save the best for last, don’t we? For me, that was the love story – the agony and the ecstasy of romantic love, and underlying that, the nagging feeling that the right relationship would fulfil me and close any remaining ‘gap’. This probably sounds familiar to some of you, perhaps to many of you. I know – it’s a hard one to admit! I am not going to share the private details of that, sorry 😉 But please bear with me anyway. There is something more important than that part of the story. It began on the treadmill, of all places, not somewhere I frequently find myself. But going to the gym occasionally, during the tour, helped me get time by myself (which is almost completely impossible on staff) and helped me move energetics that were stuck. Suddenly on this treadmill, the desire to be free of that core story hit me, like never before. I simply HAD to be free of it; I could carry it all no more. So with this fire, I made a silent cry – a prayer – within, to Amma. With that, I let go, knowing that it could go either way: perhaps I would get free of this pattern, perhaps I would not – it was in the hands of Divinity now.
Shortly after this, Amma did a Q&A with the retreat group outside, in the unseasonably hot evening sun. There were only about 500 of us there. Right from the beginning, I felt a large amount of fear and anxiety coursing through my system, to the point where I could barely sit still. I didn’t know why I was feeling this way, it was like a body thing. I decided to focus more intensely on the question that was happening, and on Amma’s answer. As I looked at Amma, she made a certain movement as she talked with her hands, and with that I was gone. I felt as if I was merging into Amma from where I was – it was part-visual, part-kinesthetic (akin to the way I sense, during a session). As this happened, any remaining sense of separation fell away and I began to cry. In this oneness and tears and the whole un-conveyable experience, I suddenly knew that all my desire, lack and longing for this person – and all women and men who I had ever felt that towards – was really the longing for God. I simply knew it. Not as a concept and not as a philosophy, and not as an excuse. I actually saw it. I saw it in such a way, that it felt like I could never actually un-see it. I also sensed intuitively that all my other desires were also the longing for God. I felt freed at last…….truly, truly free.
(NB God in my perception is also Truth, wholeness, unity, oneness etc.) The next thoughts were, “Why have I been running after men and women all this time?” and “How could I have missed this reality all these years?” Then the strangest thing happened: I experienced depression for the first time in my life. As I sat, purposefully alone, eating dinner, I felt depressed. But there was absolutely no resistance to it. The sense of oneness was so broad and pervasive, that there was absolutely no problem with feeling depressed. In fact, I was pleased to be having the experience, because before that I never understood what depression was. I knew what pain was, deep gruelling emotional pain, but I didn’t know depression until that moment. I then experienced suicidal ideation! But again, there was no problem with this either, because there was zero resistance to it. And it existed in a context of oneness, of Love. After about an hour, both of these so-called negative experiences passed of their own accord, without me doing anything at all about them.
In hindsight, I believe they occurred because my ego had just lost its trump card, which was the core love story drama. With that gone, it seems like it had to play the depression and suicide cards to try to regain ‘control’ of my bodymind. But that didn’t work: these feelings and thoughts simply passed through, as I said. So then I was just there: story-less and One, feeling a sense of ordinariness and freedom. Nothing special, yet complete liberation.
I make my newsletters personal because I don’t believe I can help unless I talk from my own direct experience. I hope that by reading this something may have resonated or sparked for you.
See you soon, after the retreat,