A Silent Thanksgiving Alone
The day after tomorrow, I’ll be heading to Bhavana Society for a 4-night silent meditation retreat. This (schedule below) is what my Thanksgiving Day will be like:
- 4:45 AM Wake-up gong
- 5:00 AM -5:30 AM Yoga
- 5:30 AM -6:45 AM Meditation
- 7:00 AM -7:45 AM Breakfast
- 8:00 AM -8:45 AM Work period
- 9:00 AM -11:00 AM Meditation
- 11:15 AM-12:00 PM Lunch
- 12:00 PM-2:00 PM Personal time
- 2:00 PM -5:00 PM Meditation and Dhamma Talk
- 5:00 PM -6:00 PM Yoga
- 6:00 PM -7:00 PM Tea (optional)
- 7:00 PM -9:00 PM Meditation or Dhamma Talk
I know– not exactly what you’d expect from a family dinner enthusiast/evangelist like me, but a time to embrace quietude and introspection is just as nourishing of an experience in my books.
“Find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive.”
There’s been a lot to think about these past few weeks, and, like many others, my mind has been feeling busy and scatterbrained lately. I’ve been thinking about what role I need to play in my community now, and how best I can contribute to it. I’ve been questioning how I can be a fearless leader, even though I am one of those marginalized persons that need allies. I’ve been wondering how someone who’s dedicated his working life to empowering marginalized communities can take on even more social justice causes without running the risk of experiencing compassion fatigue. I’ve been asking myself how I can cultivate “skillful fear” by facing it down and recognizing it as a temporary mind state, and then using it productively by redirecting its energy into courage and action.
A Vietnamese monk named Phap Dung recently recommended: “Go take refuge in nature, and find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive and in despair. This is the medicine.”
I’ll get back to my questions soon, but for now– I’ll sit, breathe, and take refuge in nature.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Take care of each other.
[Walking meditation woods, Jesup, GA, 12/17/2012]