Updated: Nov 16, 2020
I swing them violently by the hair from side to side across my head.
It's the recurrent dream again. I wake up. Hulk says good morning.
I sit for zazen. Hulk feels rejected, wants attention. Shut up, Hulk, the truculent inner police retaliates. Let's go for a walk. Hulk instantly engages in aggravation vibes, and soon he is out of control. It's time to smash, to hurt and get hurt, to succumb into emotions.
And here we are again in the vicious cycle, good old Hulk. Time to walk back home crying, embarrassed from another frustrated day. Let us not be late for the usual and brutal inner police whipping.
That was the loop I was caught up at when I found the retreat at Karuna Center.
Karuna itself is a beautiful word and the center reflects its meaning. The peace and quietness one finds there is priceless. The sunrises and sunsets, the pouring rains and the rainbow. The food, the mountains, the blessed water, the thin air and the stars. And of course, the silence, sitting, stillness. Zazen.
It sounds romantic but the retreat is quite challenging. Pain in the body, pain in the heart, pain created by the mind to protect you from moving out from your comfort zone.
The first 3 days I thought I was going to lose my mind. Even though I was in silence I had a vulcano in eruption inside of me. Hulk felt restless, lost. There was no reason to fight but if Hulk is not fighting, what would he do? And the inner police whipping? The police wants order in this retreat! We are controlling, judging and writing down each person's faults, late showings for zazen and so forth. What are these people thinking?
I stayed torn in this angry controlling limbo for a couple of days and then decided to reach out for Hamid, the man who would give me my answers. I had great expectations on him. To only find a humble and reserved man with serene eyes and a nice British accent without actually being British, who tells me, to my distress, that there are no final answers. There's being present, sitting. There's development of tools and opening up to people because we are all together as a whole. And of course, there's acceptance, self compassion and above all, patience.
Which brings me to my conclusion. The more we accept and nourish our shadows the better we can illuminate this wounded side. Hulk is just one side of me, and after all, he is just a sensitive, energetic kid who wants love and attention.
So I figured that since we'll be spending a lifetime together: Come here, Hulk. Give us a friendly hug!