5 Nov
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Extraordinary Accomplishments

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for another 3-day retreat at Flowering Lotus and then my friend Dolores (the founder of Flowering Lotus) and I will drive together to attend a 7-day retreat outside of Nashville, and then we’ll head back here to St. Louis for a visit to the Chan Monastery in Augusta, Missouri (MABA). So I won’t be posting again until after Wednesday, Nov 19th.

In the mean time, I leave you with this art piece by Maira Kalman, from the Oct 2013 issue of Mindful magazine. (click on the image to enlarge)

It reads:

I cannot stop talking. About my upcoming extraordinary accomplishment — a three day silent retreat. 

I manage to insert it into every conversation I have. “I’d like half a pound of sliced turkey, I’m going on a silent retreat, and half a pound of potato salad, Thank you.”

What will we do? Not talk. Which has its big plusses. No worries about saying something stupid every five minutes. We will do some menial tasks. (I love this part.)

And we will meditate a lot. To tell the truth, I am wary of meditating all day long.

What demons lurk inside me that I would rather not encounter? For me, most revelations end with “I am horrible.” Who needs it?

What to bring? Nothing. No camera, notebooks, pens, books. No nothing. This sounds terribly boring (and interesting). Where will silence take me? I have no idea. Which is the point. I think. 

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