A brief post to catch up on the happenings -
This past weekend Jose Reisig, the teacher and leader of the meditation group that I go to on Wednesday evenings, conducted a meditation retreat here. House business and appointments meant that I couldn't do the the whole retreat with the group, but I wanted to be involved as much as possible, so I meditated with the group whenever I could slip away. That's why I didn't do my usual post on Sunday.
It was great. I got a fair amount of time to be with the group, to meditate, to walk, and especially to hear Jose's talks, which are always something to treasure. I think I moved another step ahead in knowing about how to be where I am. My particular work this weekend seemed to be to learn more about my resistance to meditation. You probably know about those feeling of "how much longer is this going to last?" and the terrible anxious distractions and "wiggles" that everyone gets in the last 10 minutes of a meditation session. This time I was able to just sit and be with all that stuff and to enter more fully into the feelings that are underneath all of it. It did feel like something real was happening. And it also feels like a good preparation for our community retreat which is about to begin.
Then Sunday afternoon the guesthouse closed for a month. We do this each year, at the time when guest business would be very low anyway, in order to give ourselves a break from the pace at which our lives normally move. We really need to relax, stretch out and have the place to ourselves for a while. And the day on which we close down is a special day for us, one of the high points of the year. We sang Vespers early, got the group out of the guesthouse, got everything closed down and then went over to the town of Gardiner, about a half hour from here, to the home of Toni and Jim Taylor. Toni is the monastery's bookkeeper and Jim is our plumber and they are both dear friends as well, and every year on the day of our summer closing they throw a wonderful party for all of us and a few very close friends. It was the greatest time. Several of us cavorted in their beautiful pool and we all relaxed in their lovely home and had abundant food and abundant fun. It's become a much anticipated tradition of each summer, and it's a fine way to celebrate the close of another good year in the guesthouse and the beginning of a relaxing time for us.
And now, as always, our summer time begins with our Long Retreat. Tomorrow we begin 10 days of silence and most of us are looking forward to it with great expectation. More about that anon.