A Day of Retreat

Today, four of us sat together for more than an hour after listening to the crisp, practical, direct meditation instruction from the 76 year old Pema. She is accessible, she is simplistically profound and after today inspirational. We vowed to meet more regularly to sit quietly,  watch our thoughts and  joyfully move the attention to our out-breath.

It’s hard to sit for 20 minutes even with a yoga practice and my body tried its best to divert my attention. In Iyengar yoga, meditation is an advanced practice beyond watching the mind but instead a state of mental one-pointedness reached after many years of asana practice. Asana is the “lab”  where we watch, learn and awaken every cell of the body stilling the waves of our mind.

Meditation, in the definition of Pema Chodron is to sit quietly and deal with the wild, churning, crazy mind.  To come face to face and befriend yourself – not run from what you see but instead embrace it. She states that we do this joyfulness, compassion, gentleness and precision. This precision, like a scientist looking into a microscope, allows us to see clearly and with the same inquisitiveness of the scientist we peer inside, document our findings and learn our true selves better.

With the lab of an asana practice, and watching the thoughts and breath both  support the brave, curious, inquisitive journey to uncover and befriend ourselves. To find our true splendor or inherent goodness or divine nature. Different paths that run close to each other to the same end.