(A few have passed and these are images from more recent that resonate in my heart.)
The rain has been falling in small buckets, somehow I missed it on my walk to and from the little wooden home I share with 6 other people at the moment. Some invisible umbrella protecting me. I managed to practice a new song with Sidd and Omraj and appreciate Myron's bright smile and sweet laugh during a chance encounter. He brought some California light.
We're about to start a silent retreat at Zmar, in Portugal. I have been serving on the team that puts these on since the summer of 2015 when I first came here after India. Which means I have participated in about 7 or 8. They all have a different depth to them, a clarity, a cleansing.
It's very different to serve the 800 people that come here as opposed to being amongst them, yet just as powerful. I find in some strange way I guess I have more to reflect on in my active experience, where I am still holding onto something in myself that creates a button to be pressed.
I love the rain, during my shower minutes ago I left the window open and watched it pouring outside and was reminded of the days of youth of playing in the rain mud wrestling and mud sliding. Nothing like wet, messy , muddy, innocent joy.
In the living room where I sit now, there is one woman with a gentle and open energy travelling for her first time to a retreat like this. She told me she has gotten rid of her business and her house and she's on the open road, headed to South Africa after.
Life really gives us different streams, times where my mind longs for something stable, and also longs for no structure and no plan, an open slate.
One of my first years here I remember Mooji saying "never think you know what a day will bring, everything is fresh."
Even if my life has structure it is quite unknown. Something I do love about speaking with David, owner of the teahouse I have such a bond to, if you move too quickly to speak about future he can remind you that he may not even be alive after he walks out the door in 5 minutes.
Talk about appreciation of the present.
The rain feels like an old friend, a sweet music, tap tap tap, a great symphony, and she is well needed to this earth here in portugal. Oh rain , please make sweet love to the earth for many days to come. Thank you, Amen.
I stopped writing for a long time, my focus became very inward and I wasn't sure what I was writing or reporting about anyways, or for who . But today I spoke to Taryn, an old dear friend, who reflects something in me and reminded me of what I love about it. I do it for me, because it makes me happy, because it is an expression, a release, writing invisible words and images, painting them onto this invisible canvas of existence. In our new song we sing about Maya, which often Mooji speaks about, to be very frank this is the definition:
the power by which the universe becomes manifest; the illusion or appearance of the phenomenal world.
Often we speak about it in satsang as the great play, illusion or dance. The world that we take to be so real, and yet is often just interpretation of experience. "You are the center of your experiencing, you are the heart of your world."
I can't help but quote my teacher Mooji as my life as of current is in constant satsang with him.
It feels like a very special time, and I also recognise its impermanence. Everything I have ever loved so deeply has come and go. Even Taryn said today you have so many different styles of writing and they come and they go.
We can make things so much bigger in our head then they actually are, just be with what is, the power of observation.
One line in the song we are working on goes ; "Faith, guide my way..."
Ok very simple and nothing too overly profound, but I found I really had to practice the actual tempo of this line on the beat because I kept messing it up. And I felt maybe something for me to take in, doubt is so sneaky and sometimes tries to tempt .
"is this really your best life? is there something missing?"
thoughts i can think about and yet when i am in the joy of the present with what life is offering me, surrounded by such total beauty and love, what could be missing?
nothing is missing , something whispers, it's just another idea, or concept. I have some friends who love this quote;
"My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me, and that which misses me was never meant for me." - Imam al-Shafi'i.
Just another idea? One that sets the heart free.
This last one of us is very goofy. but something i like about it. and is life tricky? Mind is tricky, thoughts can be tricky, life can actually be so so simple, and thats what these silent retreats with Mooji are often getting at, that we try so hard very often to work on a projected self image of ourselves, or to attain that which is already here. "Where was peace until you found it?" and yet the paradox that he reminds is that often there is effort that is required to recognise the effortless - in the beginning.
and what is the beginning and what is the end? everyday we have small deaths.
As we enter the silence tonight, may i respect it, may i respect the richness of life with less words, more insight.