This is the second episode in a journal chronicling my silent journey during Silent Awakenings.
Ugh…really no sleep. When I did get out of bed at 5am my body ached all over and my right arm was tingly from being scrunched in this Lilliputian bed. I don’t know why I assumed everyone had twin beds. I should’ve asked to change before I was entrenched in the room for a 10-day stay. Oh, yes, and I unfortunately discovered that I hadn’t been sleeping alone last night; an inchworm joined me. Big mistake on his part as he didn’t make it through the night. Never sneak into bed with an exhausted redhead; it won’t go well!
Sunrise Meditation – I walked the dunes twice before sunrise group meditation, so I was
surprisingly toasty once I sat down under two giant Monterey Pines that are more than 100 feet tall. We were instructed to simply bring our attention to our breath for this meditation, no mantra. I brought my attention to the various birds screeching and calling above our heads, the conference center staff driving their electric carts and working around us, the jogger blasting some rap song, and of course, my own breath…finally.
Ro-Yo-Ga – I didn’t think I could handle sun salutations for morning yoga, so I did my own yin practice quietly in the back corner by the fireplace. I felt the need to melt into each pose. It was perfection. Yin in front of a fireplace should be a daily habit like drinking coffee or tea.
Meditation 2.0 – I was tired again, so I focused on my mantra this time. I only noticed a few head bobs from exhaustion and was in the gap a bit.
Inchworms 2.0 – I had to write a note to the front desk asking if there is anything they can do about the inchworms, also called cankerworms. When I came back to the room after meditation, the doorknob into the building was covered in them and there were so many hanging from the tree in front of the door that there was no way to enter without being boarded, so-to-speak. My cabin-mate, Hillary, and I have taken to primate behavior and inspect each other’s heads for inchworms every time we enter or exit the cabin. This is a little closer to camping than I like to be.
“Healing is when every molecule, thought, feeling, emotion, and relationship is resonating on the level of how we are expressions of the same divine force.” David Simon
Awakening to Healing – Our morning session was on the Awakening of Healing. We were asked the question, “What would it be like if we were assured healing?” My answer was that everything – person, animal, plant, the environment, the entire universe – would be in the moment. There would be pure love, joy and bliss; and no suffering. Everything and everyone would be whole.
Deepak said, “Healing is the return of the memory of wholeness.” He was referring to the unconditional self (I). Healing, either physical or emotional, comes through relinquishing the conditional self (or our “humanness”). The conditioned self likes to hang out in the past or future and likes attachment. The unconditioned self hangs out in the present and relinquishes attachment.
“The inner self of every human waits patiently until we are ready to discover it; then it extends an invitation to enter the luminous mystery of existence in which all things are created, nurtured, and renewed.” Deepak Chopra
Napping 1.0 – I tried a 30-minute nap this afternoon. I passed out immediately. Hopefully it won’t keep me up tonight.
Meditation 3.0 – We went on a walking meditation along the beach. I broke off from the main group and walked along the surf. I found a big, bleached log well down the beach where someone had stacked large stones on it. I sat next to the stones and just enjoyed the sights and sounds of the waves crashing, children giggling, and dogs barking. The sun made an appearance about 2pm so the water was several shades of blues, purples, and reds because of the preponderance of seaweed. I loved watching all the dogs run along the beach and play in the surf. I miss interacting with animals this week. It was hot, and I smelled like stinky seaweed, so I skipped yoga and took a shower.
Meditation 4.0 – I went into meditation without any preconceived idea of how it was supposed to be because I seem to be trying too hard. Every meditation is perfect, regardless of what happens. It is a practice, not perfection. That’s what I tell my students, so I should listen to my own advice. For me, there is a marked difference between individual and group meditation. I like each but for different reasons. I can get deeper into my meditation by myself, but I feel a connection, vibration, energy, and unity when participating in group meditation. I can walk out of group meditation feeling like I was just bestowed with the most precious gift from everyone present.
Nightline with Deepak – Expanding upon the Awareness of Healing, Deepak declared, “Only in silence and with you as a witness are you free.” He explained that the way to heal is to be a witness to the pain, be it emotional or physical. Witness the pain, and through this observation, you will move past it. He reminded us that The Silent Observer is never in the body. It is witnessing the body. Little did I know that very soon I would have the opportunity to practice this theory.
The clouds that have been covering the Monterey Bay except for maybe two hours per day, left this evening. We walked out of Satsang and the dark sky was brilliant with stars. I was looking up marveling at them and walked right into someone. A smile and a shrug had to suffice in place of a verbal, “Sorry.”
About the Author
Rochelle Barcellona is an animal-loving, family-and-friends-embracing, yoga-nidra-meditation-and-ayurveda-teaching, happy red-headed yogi who owns Nourish Mind Body & Spirit in Northern California. You may learn more about Rochelle here. Rochelle may be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and 916-353-5200.