I think we all know we’re probably pushing it a little hard. We all have past experience with burnout, having lit ourselves alight for others needs, our work, our expectations, others expectations. That smouldering feeling when our brains and minds are fritzed and our souls feel distant. Each time we make the Big Commitment to Not Do This Again. Yet, the world gathers at our door, forcing our neediness and need to be needed, back out into the over connectivity and chaos of the modern world. Even, somehow, in a pandemic lockdown situation, we can fry ourselves on too much technology, checking off the news, phone calls, what’s app, texting…without even leaving our rooms.
I just got back from a 9 day silent meditation retreat. And at the risk of being one of those people who didn’t speak for days and now can’t shut the fuck up about it, I had to come face to face with my own self. I have attended a lot of meditation retreats, and many silent ones amongst them. It’s not like you look forward to a silent retreat, but you do look forward to how you feel on completion. Like a crab without its shell, loads of conditioning having been shed. They each bring insights and clarity in a deeply felt, very short amount of time. Like a fast tracking, a whirring up one ones evolution.
At first, my regular busyness had built a pyre on which I felt like I was being splayed and burnt alive once I was sitting without anything to do hours upon hours each day meditating. Nowhere to be but my cushion, and turning up for three meals daily. No lectures, talks, no inspiration or stimulation from the outside. No conversation, no texting, no podcasts, NO READING. Just facing the madness of my mind, and it bucked and went wild before eventually stilling. It brought me to my knees before finding its centre point yet again. The insights poured in as the tears poured out. My body ached, but my soul ached more, asking of me, where have you been?
For I would say if you asked me any moment in time, that I was deeply connected to my soul. But the reality is, finding that constant connection whilst constantly being ‘entertained’ by the world, is perhaps what enlightened people can only manage. For us humans, we must learnt to say no to the shiny objects the world hurls at our faces, whilst finding space and time for our inner realms to come into their full expression. So, with discipline and awareness, we must adjust and say no. To whatever is not working for us. Be empowered to say yes to what is.