This Monday, Mick will facilitate- January 8 he was planning to share this topic but we canceled due to weather.
Last month I had the good fortune of participating in a 5 day retreat. One of the main themes and teachings of the retreat was to say YES. Say yes to whatever arose along the continuum of joy and ease to frustration and resistance.
This whole idea of saying yes makes for a worthy retreat theme. In essence we were being asked to say YES to sleeping in a different bed, and eating food we might not like. Of course this practice went deeper into bringing mindful awareness to the fluctuations of mind and body as we sat, and walked, and ate in silence.
Before we can say yes or no to anything there must be observation and awareness. This is the practice and the path. Dharma/Meditation teacher Larry Yang writes about this in his book Awakening Together:
The path of spiritual practice is often called purification of the heart. We don't have a choice about what we purify--rather, what needs purifying shows up in our lives. The question is whether we can be mindful enough to be present to it.
In essence, saying yes is about meeting our experiences and our mind with awareness and with an intention to be with, rather than to fix or change.
Larry Yang adds:
If we see our suffering clearly it will change and transform. When we do not see suffering clearly, it continues to feed itself.
In the retreat setting one has the time and space to wrestle, dance, and see clearly into suffering. With a daily practice we have that chance as well. We have the chance to recognize and meet suffering with gentleness and kindness.
This meeting is really the act of letting go, the act of saying yes when we can, as best we can.
Reflecting on saying yes, suffering and letting go--
What do you want to say yes to?
How do you relate to suffering on and off the cushion?
What is your experience of letting go and grasping?
I look forward to our time together.