Thursday, June 30, 2005

Day 3 - Monday

Noble silence from dawn until after lunch.

As soon as I woke up, I looked out the window and exclaimed 'THE SUN!" It has been raining for 2 weeks straight. I am not all that surprised the words leaped from my lips, but I knew I blew the silent part of the day in the first 5 minutes.

I was wary of noble silence. After all we were not born with lips, tongue and voice box for nothing. I don't need a practice that isolates me even further. Motherhood has a tendency of doing that by itself. What I found delightful about noble silence is how social bonds are so affirmed. I was imagining a stoicism - you know, an expressionless countenance. Instead, a smile, a wink - people seemed to go out of their way to connect with each other.

My practice this morning was filled with backpain. Fear settled in soon after - fear of finding that hot sticky emotionally charged headspace.

Oryioki continues to unfold (har har..). My inner perfectionist seeks...well...perfection. There are moments when the logic of the practice is completely present. They way I lay down and then put away my utensils, naturally leads me to "what comes next". I saw that today. If only life were like that sometimes! Maybe, like meditation and Oryioki, if I stopped for a moment to look - that natural logic would arise. I haven't mentioned much about the noon meal. Unlike the simplicity of breakfast and supper, lunch -or dinner as my grandmother called it (since it was the largest meal of the day too) - is interspersed with chanting, offering to higher and lower beings. Folding napkins and chanting is up there with patting your head and rubbing your stomach simultaneously. Being that some of the chants are in Sanskrit...makes the process all the easier.

The interesting thing about this practice - well beyond the self cleaning and drinking the wash water, is that you stop worrying about what is being served. You have to keep some pace with the group - or at least be conscious of it - since there are moments when you have the sneaking suspicion that you are the only one eating - and after a quick scan realize that you are. And since you will be drinking the wash water - having large chunks in it is not all that desireable.

My sitting practice after lunch was less emotionally charged. I was offered some posture advice and how to shush my inner nag. I felt more present to each moment rather than plodding through each sitting - in pure survival mode. I don't feel so worn out/down.


hotboy said...

Really enjoying these posts about the retreat! Hotboy

MC Etcher said...

A happy outburst regarding sun glee is allowed during noble silence - it's on page 34 of the rulebook.

Could have been worse - You could have stubbed your toe and let fly with a few choice curse words.

Kim said...

This is great! There is NO WAY I could sit still that long.