Updated: Jan 16
Immersion in silence and stillness in the company of others during a meditation retreat can be a profound and potentially transformational experience.
Through the practice, we are encouraged to go as far as we can in our own personal experience of what the moment reveals which implies allowance to experience suppressed feelings, thoughts, or hurtful memories from the past we have shunned in order to avoid facing what is emotionally painful. Here, we take all that in.
This part of the experience can feel lonely for none of what is surfacing for each person and their struggles with it is something they can share with anothe due to the silence.
Yet we are constantly reminded that while alone we are not alone, that others are with us and as we begin to become more attentive, with our senses heightening, it becomes clearer that what we are processecing is not so dissimilar from what others are trying to process..
We look up at the face of someone sitting or walking next to us, or eating across the table from us, and suddenly through what the other reflects back in what can be just the hint of a smile, enough though to sense an opening, we feel a warmth expressive of our shared humanity.
More, much more revealing or illuminating, that hint of a smile on the other's lips can stirr the heart when we are the rawest and that opening is the realization that it is Buddha who is looking at us.
It takes a Buddha to see a Buddha so we realize that the Buddha who is looking at us is actually ourself. The seeing that is the reflecting that is the knowing that is us is the Buddha.
The Buddha is not to be found inside nor is the Buddha to be found outside. She or he is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Same time as time that is never the same is the timeless awakening we call the Buddha.
The Buddha is the one who sees things the way they are, sees things in their thusness. To see things as thus is to be liberated from self, others, and thus.To be liberated means things are in flux, there is no resting place for them nor for us which is why the Buddha said: " All things are ultimately liberated; they have no abode."