After - Princeton Retreat

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    Couldn't sleep well for a few days. I feel as though I have been 'sparked' by the Company and beautiful setting. I've eaten only two small meals since I've been home as well... seems to go with this.

    I signed on because I feel I'm able to write about perhaps the most personally moving of the exercizes we engaged in: You Seeing Being Seeing. The first time we spent only a few minutes. First, a minute "You Seeing", then a minute "Being Seeing",which sounds like not a lot of time I realize, but when I think about each excercize, I can honestly say that the ten minute exercizes were not more substantive or even 'longer' than the minute exercizes for me. This little exercize, in which I had a sensation of a suspended rubber band, was a kind of prep for a profound moment that would come around the corner... "Being Seeing" walking around the pond in the stunningly perfect weather.

    So we set outdoors walking, and each of us seemed to find our own little spaces and distances. There was a symmetry about it I think. At some point I found myself at the edge looking over the pond, with SSL at the other side. Once I caught sight of her my attention expanded out without my moving and I could see everyone in a way... not see with my eyes, but see nonetheless. I began walking again. I came across a little ledge of stones and walked the edges like a child, had the sense of being looked out for, protected. Noticed the many leaves and scraped my feet through them until I had to grin. Noticed I'd turned a corner and others beginning to walk to the room, and then I was gripped from inside out ... a sensation I can't describe adequately but brings tears to my eyes every time I try. Great Love. I am in this Great Love and this Great Love is me... and furthermore this IS compassion. We'd had some discussion of tonglen before heading outside, and it is perhaps this residue which caused the flowing framework of my hearing so clearly "Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friends", and I could hear the many bodhisattva and compassion teachings arise and knew that Jesus was talking about all sentient beings, whatever the translaters may say.

    I remembered the unfolding lotus vision...
    And knew that nothing was witheld...
    Known, and beginning to know.

    All this in bit of a flash. I couldn't speak of it for quite a while. .



    After writing the above I went for my notes, to see what else I might share with others. In the airport, still tasting Being Seeing, I wrote "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear" which is a Biblical line, next to "No Hinderance and Therefore No Fear" which is a line from the Heart Sutra.

    Other notes from the retreat? I'll jot them down in hopes that the feeling may convey:

    -Falling leaves and Tilopa's outline

    The leaves shivering off the trees...some letting go, some nearly ready. There is a joy about it all. "Don't try to make anything happen." "Let go of what has happened; let go of what may come..." A burst of wind, just after the pause, and a mass shedding... a collective letting go. All Fall Together.

    Sharing as surrender, touching/tasting authenticity... raw givenness.

    -A discussion of dying before dying


    Stepping out. Risks. Friends with turbulence.

    "Relax, right now, and rest." Non-expectation is freedom. Nothing is missing.


    Once, when my younger daughter was small, I was tickling her relentlessly. I began to hear all the voices of the relatives warning me against 'spoiling her" ... that I should hold back. As she laughed and laughed and I couldn't stop, I heard in a kind of wordless way "You are increasing her capacity to receive pleasure." 

    That line probably changed the way I parented entirely.

    Walking around the lake was similar to that feeling, except that it was for *everything* and *everyone*...even myself... inclusive, endless, and real.

    A note was shared with me yesterday:

    As the well-known contemporary Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta, famous for sitting on a crowded street corner selling inexpensive bidis, or Indian cigarettes, once commented, “The problem is not desire. It’s that your desires are too small.”


    Adding to this remembering the plane trip home. We were heading into high winds, due to a hurricane off shore, and the pilot took every precaution. He was incredibly smooth about it. I couldn't help but remember talk though, of making friends with Turbulence. :)  

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    Viewing 6 of 6 comments: view all
    Originally written on 02:01, 16 Nov 2009
    For Eliza, re You Seeing, Being Seeing (and also recalling image of <a href="">White Tara</a>, embodiment of compassion)... This uses Buddhist language, but since you're familiar with that, think it will come though. It's something I've loved for a long time, from Chogyam Trungpa, dedication to his book "Mudra":
    <p />??</p>
    <p>"One who follows the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is aware of Emptiness;
    <p>that knowledge of Emptiness and of loving-kindness which is without self is called the Great Perfection of Equanimity,</p>

    <p>by means of which one has sight of this very world as the Mandala of all the Buddhas.</p>

    <p>May this guide you and be your companion in your pilgrimage to Liberation; led by the Light of Wisdom, may you attain to the form of the Great Compassionate One."</p>

    Posted 15:53, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 03:48, 16 Nov 2009
    Eos, that is so very beautiful, and I'm so very appreciative of your taking time to write it! Thank you. :)
    Posted 15:53, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 04:39, 07 Dec 2009
    "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear" : your notes are so inspiring Eliza, thank you so much for sharing your experience of the retreat in such a way that I feel pulled into what seems to be the ??Being Seeing?? part of it. Your compelling way of describing what you felt makes me feel teleported to some unknown ??BS?? when you write: ?? I was gripped from inside out ... a sensation I can't describe adequately but brings tears to my eyes every time I try.??.
    Posted 15:53, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 13:09, 07 Dec 2009
    Eden, How inspiring you are!
    Seeing that you commented brought me back to this page, where I lingered a while thinking of a line I can't (and don't want to) shake lately:
    "Love born of wisdom not emotion"
    Hm. I look forward to your session later this morning. Thank you!!
    Posted 15:53, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 05:17, 09 Dec 2009
    I remember you saying that at the Guardians meeting last Sunday: 'Love born of wisdom not emotion.' I have no image I could relate it to (or maybe a faint one, the christian command about loving one another, or parents's advice that siblings should love each other). But is that wisdom and how do we do with gut feelings that push us in the other direction than love (which would be mainly fear I think). Questions.
    Would you share how this line 'Love born of wisdom not emotion.' speaks to you? Where or when did it emerge on your path? :-) I'm just starting to see what is enfolded in these wrapped words...It is very fragile and full of possibilities at the same time.
    Posted 15:53, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 23:46, 20 Dec 2009
    Oh Eden, we should talk about 'love born of wisdom' sometime. It would be wonderful! I'm just reading this comment now, btw...
    Posted 15:53, 9 Apr 2010
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