Home » Religious and spiritual » Time and silence

Time and silence

(This was written at last weekend’s silent retreat, at 9:30 am on 1-18-14. I’d come to some understanding after this, but as the struggle is part of it, I’m posting this too.)

I keep looking at the clock. I don’t want to be late. I don’t want to miss anything.

This is so much like how I’m living my life right now. I’m not trusting that I’m on the right path, but I know I am. I’m not living in the moment, but I know I should.

There isn’t much going on. It isn’t like this kind of retreat is jam packed. There’s an optional centering prayer. There’s mealtimes. I’ve got an appointment with a spiritual director. Not much going on at all, in fact. That’s the point.

It isn’t like Cursillo at all. Every moment was scheduled with that. There was a little time for a walk or going to the bathroom, but nothing going for naptime. Even regular sleep was shortened. I think that was very intentional. Sleep deprivation is a cheap way to produce altered reality.

But at Cursillo they at least had a bell. I didn’t have to wonder what to do next or when to do it. The retreat leaders did all the thinking for me. It left me open to do as I needed, and that was to plug directly into the Source. Now, one thing there was that you couldn’t skip anything. Everybody had to be present for a program to start.

I was late to centering prayer this morning. I thought I was early but my clock was wrong. I missed the instructions. I’d gotten them the night before and not read them. I’m pretty sure I was doing it wrong. But I was there and quiet and trying to be receptive.

The word I chose was light. I hadn’t planned on it. It is what came to me.

Sometimes I think just showing up is part of it. I think also being honest with yourself is also part of it. I’d signed up to do yoga last night but I skipped it because I was in the middle of a good write. I found myself resenting stopping what I was doing to go to yoga. It was optional anyway.

I’m learning that just because the retreat is silent doesn’t mean my head is silent. There are a lot of thoughts crowded in there, jockeying for attention.

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