Retreat

With the Angel City Zen Center retreat beginning tomorrow, I’m feeling the need to reset, not because things are bad. On the contrary, I can’t complain about much. Resets could also be needed when things are good. I’m in need of a reset to bring me back to the present. When life veers toward nostalgia (reminiscing the past) or hopefulness (expectations for an imagined future), then I need a reminder to shake off the mind fuzz. Three days of silence and yoga will be like an ice cube on sunburned skin. No phone, internet, computers, TV, radios, cars, traffic, sidewalks, driveways, and freeways. No politics, elections, mail bombs, CNN, Fox News, and Saudi Arabian coverups. No bills, jobs, presentations, invoices, homework, projects, and networking. No worries. Three days of “being” without premeditated behaving, experiencing without contriving, and living without planning. I’ve been looking forward to this retreat for a long time.

Yet, my anticipation has come without the typical impatiences that normally accompany these kinds of urges. I think oftentimes my desires have a time component in them, which creates an illusion of urgency. My relationship with time has changed. I understand that time is an effect of movement. Stillness will penetrate that illusion of urgency. Ceasing reactions will bring about clarity because when kinetic energy is tempered you could discern the particle from the wave.

Movement is often equated with life, as is progress and growth. Movement has its place in life, but life is also everything else. Life is movement and stillness and energy and decay. It is everything we label as good and everything we think of as bad. It is not, one and not the other. There are no fractions in reality. Life is whole, undivided, and complete. There is a beginning and an end, and everything in between comprises the whole. When you truly look at things, you realize everything is complete—even emotions. It’s not half of one and a quarter of another. Or when we apply ourselves at something—we don’t just give part of ourselves. It’s all of ourself, at that moment. (Whether it’s enough is another matter.) When we think of life in partial terms, that’s when we create problems.