Day 4: Silent Meditation Retreat, 2023

This day continued the trajectory of the previous two as I settled in even more with a blend of meditation, outside work, and study.

It took me a few days to wind down, but by Day 3 and then especially Day 4, the mind began to settle. The focus sustained over periods of time. Quietude discovered. It was around Day 4 that my experience at the 10-day retreat last year really began to kick in. It takes time and intentional navigation to slowly merge out of the city grid of traffic and into the slower, quieter countryside lanes.

And as the space opens to views of rolling hills and pasture, it becomes not only possible but quite natural and pleasurable to acclimate to just sitting with no plan or desired activity save for stillness and silence. One can even wean the compulsive reach for the phone such that one returns to some dim memory of a distant lifetime before modernity set in, or maybe even into the echoes of the hunter-gatherer society before it all became… so much. In fact, if the only thing I did with this experience was to fast from my phone, that alone would be worth the effort. [Reminder to self: Set a weekly program of burying the phone at least one day a week.]

I find myself slipping into this solitary life of quietude, all the more enjoyable in our own home. There is another me that exists, different from but sharing the same substrate as the busy/social me. Part of me is a contemplative.

I sat on our back patio. Baby blue clear skies. Perfect sun. High in the upper 50s. Trees budding as spring settles in. I used my tuning process today, the same I do for channeling, but stopped midway at the point where I meet my gatekeeper, Carla. I asked her a few questions, subsequent to which I held a strong meditation even as a neighboring yard was visited by lawnmowers.

Then I finally got out that hanging chair and suspended it underneath our grand and gorgeous mulberry. Sitting cross-legged, I meditated. Observed. Saw two male cardinals courting and pursuing a female. Watched a woodpecker drilling a hole high up in a tall, narrow tree. Noticed a squirrel ten or so feet underneath it, motionless, looking upward toward the bird. Not sure if squirrel was sneaking up on the woodpecker, or what his end game was, but in any event I had a great show when woodpecker chased off squirrel, wings flapping frantically.

Continued spending time with Ramana Maharshi. And talked into the mirror about the false self. Talked also to the Sun, our Logos, outdoors, asking for guidance.

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