A few months ago, I attended a 10-day meditation retreat. The accommodations were simple and definitely nothing fancy, but being able to experience a beautiful mountain backdrop and silence from the noise of life was priceless. The meditation schedule was pretty strict and I purposely used it as a time to experience deeper states of listening and to develop discipline in my practice. I went to the retreat expecting massive revelations about life to come into focus and thought I'd essentially come down from the mountain a la Moses with the rules of living a great life in hand. After seven peaceful, uneventful days, something unexpected happened.
If it hadn't been for that complete stillness meditation, I most likely would have tried to get up and stop the experience or do just about anything else to distract me from having to go through it. After that session was over, I felt like 10 years of internal, subtle anguish was finally gone.
So many of us hold on to our past hurts and pains because we are afraid to fully feel them. I don't know about you, but I held onto that pain for so many years because I kept telling myself I had too much to get done and didn't have the luxury or time to fall apart. What I didn't realize is that falling apart was not fatal. Masking my pain, minimizing it or avoiding it altogether was what held me back from growing through the lesson. Once I let go, I was able to accept that the situation was what it was, but also, that it no longer needed to define or shape how I showed up every day. I was creating my own misery by staying stuck in my feelings rather than giving myself permission to let it go. The past only lingered because I allowed it to be present.
THE BLACK ZEN TEAM
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