My brain’s a little too fried to properly blog, but I kind of like the idea writing raw and in the moment.
I arrived at Menucha yesterday. We’re sleeping summer camp style with bunk beds and family meals and everything. I was a little concerned about the food coming in, but they had marionberry jam on the first night, so now I’m pretty much sold. In addition to the food, I was also concerned about my preparedness for this retreat. I hadn’t finished my reading, I hadn’t finished the things I wanted to do before I left and we all know how much I love touchy-feely sharing in group situations. But in our opening circle, Pam and Virginia laid my fears to rest – I was here for the right reasons, in the right time and in the right place. I would learn the things I needed to. Tried to sleep using my fleece as a pillow last night…put in a request for a real pillow this morning.
We ate breakfast orioki style – this is a Zen practice where you eat in silence and with as little noise as possible. The idea is to be very mindful and at one with the food you are putting in your body. I think it was the first time I’ve ever actually looked at the water I’m drinking.
Our morning and afternoon sessions consisted of processes – things we learned in our level one training and then going more into depth with them. It was good to be reminded of the things I know but don’t always practice. And watching Pam’s masterful use of these skills made me realize just how far I have to go and reignited my desire to truly incorporate them into my life.
Our evenings are dedicated to personal processing. Today was about our agreements (a la The Four Agreements) and we talked about the big suitcase of agreements that we are always dragging around with us. Then Pam and Virginia introduced us to our “Big Book of Lies (Agreements).” We started by writing several categories (family, food, body, love, money, career, etc.) and then list our agreements in those categories. But it’s not just listing agreements – it’s recording conversations between our victim and our judge about events in these categories to get at our agreements. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read Allan Hardman or Don Miguel Ruiz or ask me when I’ve integrated things and feel like explaining them.) It’s kind of a fun activity at first and then you really start to realize all the shit the voices in your head talk.
Took a lovely walk around the grounds with some people today. Looking forward to the next few days of nice weather.