September 27, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
“For almost everyone who practices, cycles of awakening and openness are followed by periods of fear and contraction. Times of profound peace and new-found love are often overtaken by periods of loss, by closing up, fear, or the discovery of betrayal, only to be followed again by equanimity or joy. In mysterious ways the heart reveals itself to be like a flower that opens and closes. This is our nature.”
This is a quote from the book: After the Ecstasy, The Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path, by Jack Kornfield. It is the best way I can describe the feeling of leaving a particularly special retreat. In retreat, we come together with a common goal: to further our path. Some of us don’t realize, initially, that it actually is our goal. It is only in the leaving we realize how changed we are from the experience. Stepping back into daily life, from that place of bliss, is a rather rude awakening. Often I cry after I’ve left a retreat — not necessarily because I am sad to leave (although I am) but because I am so very grateful for the experience.
There were so many amazing women there, and I’m not sure I’ll ever see them again. Because of the closeness required to be in retreat, I quickly fall into something like love with my fellow retreaters. It is not as if I can say, “well, I’ll see you next weekend, or next month. Maybe next year?” Because I probably won’t. We were all brought together for this brief, intense time in order to learn from one another. We give and take in kind. It is a rare and unusual gift.
Be with those who help your being
Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.
A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don’t try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it’s too late for all you could become.
Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?
Yours in gratitude, Chris