Conclusion: Silent Meditation Retreat, 2023

A home retreat was helpful in that it somewhat re-programmed the home experience where I spend most of my life and where all the old cues lurk in each window pane and light switch. Though once discovered anywhere, the sacred is discovered everywhere, where better than to look than in one’s own home?

And in this unique laboratory, I’ve never before locked the focus so firmly upon a fixed vision as I did when, thanks to time spent with my other Ra, I took up japa, i.e., mantra. Leaving the retreat, the mantra repeated in the background, into and through the busyness.

Have you ever seen Sanskrit text? The written words of the language are linked together by a horizontal line that runs through each one. In each character there is uniqueness, but whatever the letter and combinations thereof, they are all anchored and held by the line. The japa became that for me, a baseline rhythm to which I would return as the characters changed.

In my many meandering days of seeking the truth over half of life now, I get lost. Not lost-lost. I get forgetful. In the project of seeking my salvation, a thought will come along, a principle, a method, a symbol, a vision, and I think THIS is what I need to hold to; THIS is what I need to focus on. Maybe that idea is faith. Maybe it is will. Maybe it is love. Maybe it is oneness. Maybe it is discipline. Whatever light seems to show the way, inevitably the ocean roar of the day’s rapid-spinning activities demands the self’s attention, and the cycles of pain resume, distraction and self-medication on the edges take root, and off drifts away that thread of light into the oblivion of the forgotten. Again and again.

The mantra creates a rhythm or baseline that brings me back to center, helps me to remember the quest.


Absolute consciousness, the primordial purity, radical Emptiness, the Great Unborn, is forever and always free. And we are that. Yet, from our present standpoint, consciousness is identified with form. It is as if consciousness has caged itself inside of thought constructs and time-based experiences. And the more we relate to phenomena, objects, thoughts, and experiences with attachment and aversion—running toward or away from something—the more stuck we are to these objects; the more consciousness is caged inside of and identified with thought.

Radical & total acceptance, forgiveness, equanimity—these are the energies of freedom. These ways dissolve the adhesive of the habituated, momentum-sustaining, illusion-perpetuating patterns of attachment and aversion, addiction and avoidance.

There is a way.

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