Updated: Jul 23
Our summer retreat in Monchique begins on Sunday and I'm on my way to Portugal to welcome our guests coming from many different lands.
For some time I struggled seeing myself directly involved with this silent retreat as it was our friend Andō who was meant to lead it. Sadly, for personal reasons beyond her wishes, she had to renounce attending late in our preparations.
We both had to grieve the drawback yet as you notice the trees in the forest of your life take on autumnal colors you begin to see, yes to see, how the heart feels appreciation for the rich and subtle hues that lifelong acquaintance with grieving lends to the leafage.
Yes, lends for ultimately nothing is ours and, this is what grieving is here to teach: in this house, we are all invited yet no one overstays their welcome, we are all guests meeting other guests at times delecting ourselves as we play the role of host for a while.
It is with these words, playing my role of host, that I opened the door to invite our guests for a week of silence and stillness.
I am looking forward to meeting you in a week for our time of practice together at Karuna Center in Serra de Monchique, in the Algarve.
I've refrained from making comments about what the retreat would be like, what to expect and what not to expect. All I can and will say is that the invitation is about changing chambers, leaving the familiar behind, and stepping into the unknown.
The familiar is the stories we carry with us, they are neither good nor bad but, spending too much time with them can become tedious and limiting.
What this journey will be and how it will look like will be your individual experience to discover.
Come with an open heart and an open mind with as little expectation as possible. The unknown doesn't respond well to expectations for to expect something is to project the mind and its desires onto a dimension of being that has the potential of becoming a portal to the mysterious.
By mysterious I mean a dimension of things bigger than what the mind can conceive; another word for that could be vastness.
It is here that we can meet our deepest sense of trust.