13 Jul The Significance & Meaning of Spiritual Retreat
O seeker! Give up desire. Shake off your chains. ~ Buddha
A spiritual practice is full of beauty and an elegance that few people allow into their lives. It is about art, music and dance in all forms. It is about celebration of Life.
But the more we indulge our emotions through the gluttony of self-righteous gratification, the more power they have to exhaust us and eventually destroy the ability we have to move beyond emotions to the living Heart. We kill ourselves through the overindulgence of emotional pain camouflaged as the “fun” of pleasure.
Our lives are wearing out; our living is becoming repetitious; our breath forgotten. Life is dwindling down to mere survival and cravings for continuous emotional gratification. We stray away on “side paths” and formulate philosophies that have nothing to do with what is really occurring in our lives. We are willfully forsaking ourselves without even knowing it. In living this way, we become victims to our own hand.
We all need to Retreat, to experience renunciation from the way we are living so we don't miss our life. ~ Siraj
The word “retreat” means to withdraw to a quieter, more secluded place where we can change the state of energy that forces the hand of Karma to appear harsh or even cruel. This process of cutting the ties that bind us to our own parochial perspective is referred to as renunciation in Zen.
To Retreat is to deliberately renounce or strip away virtually everything in our lives that stands between Love and ourselves. Through Retreat, we enter the authentic journey of self-conquest through spiritual transformation. Hence, we flow with Karma as Love and not as a matter of correcting our course in this lifetime.
To once again achieve harmony with Life, we must come to a place of simplicity whereby we can be regained through gentleness and compassion. ~ Siraj
This simplicity is the balance that Jesus spoke of when he talked about living “in the world” but “not of it” – the essence of letting the practice live through us. Living in simplicity allows us to break the chains that bind us to willfulness and the rationale of self-righteousness as the logic for our acts of self-defeating hatred.
It creates the a space where we realize how necessary it is to Retreat back to the basics and become so simple and real that we can hear that which is calling us back to the authentic nature of Love.
Listen to your life and you will Retreat. ~ Siraj
The great Zen Master, Rinzai, was once asked how one would attain to consciousness.
Rinzai had gone for a morning walk with his staff in his hand. He raised his staff in front of the eyes of the questioner and said, “WATCH THIS STAFF! If you can watch this, there is no need to go anywhere else.”
The man found it a little puzzling. He looked here and there and he said, “But how can one attain to Enlightenment just by watching a stick?”
Rinzai said, “It is not a question of what you watch. The question is that you watch. Right now it happened that the staff was in my hand, that’s all.”
Consciousness reveals impermanence. To have this direct experience, we must first create space for the awareness that allows us to observe the mind that we live with…that is all. This simple insight means that consciousness emerges from realizing the operations of the mind and recognizing that which creates desire and illusion. Just the pure recognition of this liberates us from the fetters of a mind chained to emotional states of fear.
Breaking the cycle of human psychology through the emergence of consciousness is what a spiritual practice is all about. ~ Siraj
To see how the mind operates and sustains itself through emotional gratification is deeply important. Never be fooled by “the matter of taste” or the sense of urgency imposed by your emotions longing to satisfy their contact need for gratification.
If you are still enough to be guided by the unseen hand of Love, you will realize that what your life needs is “other worldly”…it is the “other shore” beckoning you home.
Don’t live to alter your moods - just listen…
Life has nothing to do with your wants or desires - it is about what you are
Meditation and inner growth are about no longer holding your life to the limits of your perception of “happiness”
Practice living as if nothing else matters but that which you can know that does NOT turn into thought
Retreat to create the space to listen for what the emotional mind cannot hear - your Heart knows what your life really needs