The backward step

May 26th, 2009


Take the backward step and turn the light inward. – Dogen Zenji

re•treat
1: an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable; the process of receding from a position or state attained
2: a place of privacy or safety: refuge
3: a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction

Someone asked me to write about how to prepare to go on a meditation retreat. This is a good topic, since the matter of preparation is what often keeps us from going on retreat, whether it is for one day or 100 days.

How do you know if you are prepared to handle the silence, the physical rigors, the discipline, and the mental intensity of a prolonged meditation retreat?

Relax. You can’t know. You don’t need to know. There is no way to prepare. The very notion of preparation traps us in false expectation and self-evaluation. It shows us how often we are paralyzed by the feeling of inadequacy in our lives. We are never inadequate but we are immobilized just the same.

Continue reading and leave a comment to continue
the conversation on “The Laundry Line”
my new blog on Shambhala SunSpace

Take the forward step now. Register this week and you won’t miss the extraordinary company of 45 ordinary women all taking the backward step into an oasis of deep wisdom and empathy at the one day Mother’s Summer Plunge coming up on June 20.

3 Comments »

  1. I really appreciate this.

    Comment by molly — May 26, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

  2. Did someone say oasis? Wisdom? Empathy? Aaaahhhhh.

    Comment by jena strong — May 27, 2009 @ 1:12 am

  3. 45–amazing! I love things I don’t have to prepare for. Sorry I’ll miss the retreat, but I will bring the Mouse ears 😉

    Comment by MojoMom — May 30, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

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