I’ve been watching this state I find myself in slowly developing over the past month, like witnessing the moon gradually go from full to new. This low energy state; this I quit state; this I’m tired of taking care of everyone and tending to every little thing state; this I’m done and everyone’s on their own state.
It’s a rather important practice to know what it means to rest and how to do it, rather than throw in the towel and quit, when confronted with running on fumes – or being out of gas entirely and breaking down on the side of the road.
Today, I slept in and then stayed in bed till around 1:00pm. Having foreseen that this time of the year would be a exhaustive time for me after a few big planning events I’ve managed in the last couple of months, I reserved a stay (six months ago) in a fire lookout tower for the whole of next week for myself, starting on Monday. So, off I will go into the high elevation of the mountains for a solo stay in the woods.
I’ll play guitar, write, rest, sip tea, make campfires, and watch the sun rise.
I won’t have anyone to tend to other than myself…and it will be glorious.
I’ll recharge my tank and re-hydrate my spirit.
Once or twice a year, I find that I need this kind of time to myself. I need to reconnect: with my own person in a concentrated fashion; with silence; with stillness; with the rising and falling of the sun and the moon; with the simplicity and beauty of life that I often take for granted.
Off into the woods I will go come Monday. And I will return home with a rejuvenated inner landscape, I’m sure of it.
Deer Park, Day Twenty-Five
(written on Tuesday February 4th)
I’ve not done much today other than rest. It has been wonderful! I decided to practice a day of silence today so I am wearing a pin that I made a couple of years ago, and brought with me, that says: I am practicing a day of silence. I decided, however, to make an exception in my silence in order to write. To me, writing is both like and not like remaining silent.
This morning I slept in and woke up around 6:00am! The latest I’ve slept since I’ve been here. I did some sitting meditation, had some tea, got dressed, and then decided to skip breakfast, on account of not being at all hungry, and return to bed. I fell asleep for almost another 2 hours. How splendid! I had nowhere to go and nothing to do and my body told me of its need to rest, so I did.
After I woke up I went for a short walk to the standing Buddha statue in the Oak Grove. I visited a hammock along the trail and enjoyed rocking back and forth beneath the trees. On the way back to my cabin I collected some peppercorns from one of the pepper trees alongside the parking lot to bring home.
Day 9 – I was unable to sit this morning so although I did sit earlier at the center before I led an Open Way Sanghas board meeting and even though in an hour I will be leaving to return back to the center for our weekly Monday night Be Here Now Sangha group I did my six minutes just now in order to keep my daily practice going. And since I went from doing the laundry at the laundry mat to the board meeting to volunteering with hospice to finishing up our taxes with our tax guy and am worn out I opted to practice laying down meditation instead of sitting meditation. It was quite lovely. Ya know, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you can’t lay down and meditate :)
Being in tune with our body and knowing how to listen to its signs of needing rest, food, water, playfulness, exercise, or other forms of nourishment is an important practice. It is easy to ignore our bodies and to feed it in ways that are not beneficial to our overall health and well being. Our minds and bodies are not separate but indeed very much connected. If our physical body is not in harmony and balance our mind will reflect that and vice versa. Let us take good care of ourselves in body and mind so that they in turn can take good care of us. Listen carefully, our bodies and minds are telling us everything we need to know in order to care for them.