I didn’t know I would end up spending a month in silence until a year ago. If you’d asked me before that, I would have said, “no way, too long for me.”
But after 13 years of several week long to 10 day silent meditation retreats, I knew it was time.
Talking to a teacher last year she said, when I asked her about a month long retreat, “Angela, the more time you have the further you can go from the shore.”
What she meant by this is that with silence, without distraction, we can get further from the constructs of the mind (beliefs about ourselves, others, and life) and see more clearly the Truth of All Things.
For example, in silence I can truly see that there is no good or bad, or right or wrong – a belief that brings much suffering through judgments and resentment.
I can see there is no good or bad/right or wrong, only WHAT IS. This frees me from the constructs of my mind and past conditioning, giving me a true depth of peace and joy.
Another example – the belief that “I’m” in control, or there is a “me” that’s in control. On retreat, I see clearly that there is no “me” to have control.
I see that there is a greater force that moves through all of us and everything in this world that provides guidance. Trusting in this force or energy brings a true depth of peace and joy.
That energy or force is what I call intuition/Spirit/Divine/God. It manifests as “you” or “me” in the world.
I want to know this energy more deeply.
I want to continue seeing and knowing on a visceral level this energy called Divine, to be free from all forms of suffering, and be free to live from the veil of perception, the veil of ego. Because that’s what it is – an illusion, a play of the mind.
If I can be free from suffering – why not!?
I’m so grateful to have the time and financial support to be able to do this.
You might have some questions like: Where are you doing it? How are you getting your food? What are you going to be doing for a month of silence?
I’m happy to answer them.
Where are you doing a month long silent retreat?
Eight months ago, I stayed at a friends cabin on his property in Big Sur, CA for a few nights. The first morning I woke up there, during meditation, I had, what I call, Divine Clarity.
That energy or force I was talking about? It was clear as a sunny day, speaking to me as I sat, “You will do a month of silence here this winter/spring.” There was no question, and total clarity.
That clarity brought me through several months of wondering if it would happen as the owner was unclear until just a week before it started that I could be there for a month.
I trusted, and it unfolded just as Divine Clarity had given.
Here’s the cabin – isn’t it beautiful?
It sits in the redwood forest on a steep hillside in between two creeks. Only the sound of the birds, crickets, wondering deer and wind can be heard.
The best part? It was built as a meditation cabin!
How are you getting your food?
I have brought a months supply of food to the cabin. Most of it is non-perishable food, with some long lasting perishable food like apples, potatoes, onions, carrots, eggs and cheese.
I have a little gas stove with propane to cook on. Super simple and perfect for all that I need.
What are you going to be doing for a month of silence?
I have some personal disciplines while I’m on retreat: no talking to anyone I might see, no reading of recreational books, no eye contact with others. I do this because all of these things can be distractions to knowing Truth.
My days will be filled with 3-5 hours of meditation a day, cooking, eating, cleaning, walking, making and tending a fire in the wood stove, and reading one of two books I’m bringing: The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, and The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin: Pointers to Non-Duality in Five Volumes. I will also have with me The Heart Sutra by the Buddha.
My days are simple, built on reflection, mindfulness, and the dailyness of living.
For support, I’ll be meeting with my teacher Matthew Flickstein twice over the month by phone, along with my friend and mentor, Carol Blotter, a long time assistant of Matt’s, twice by phone.
It’s a 45 min. uphill walk to get to cell service for these weekly calls (and there just happens to be a view of the ocean from there too!).
I will be back in the talking world around April 7, and back on line and seeing returning and new clients the week of April 11.
I leave you with two beautiful quotes by Rumi (who I consider one of my teachers as well) that point to the Truth:
Why are you so afraid of silence,
silence is the root of everything.
If you spiral into its void,
a hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear.
A Great Silence overcomes me,
and I wonder why I ever thought to use language.
Wishing you peace and joy.
Categories: Health & Happiness, Inner Wisdom & Intuition, Meditation & Mindfulness