A silent retreat Jan 2020

On 4 Jan 2020 I went to a 5 night silent retreat, which is effectively an intensive meditative workout.  Here is my account (c 3,000 words).


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Learning to Freedive

Holding on to the buoy, bobbing gently up and down in rhythm with the waves.  Beneath me a freediving line, disappearing into the darkness.  Somewhere below is a white disk, my depth marker, where I have to get to.


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Bodyscan Meditation

 

Sitting on my seat, flying back from Athens to London.  Comfortable.  Consciously alert.  Eyes close.  Breathe.  I-i-in.  Expansion.  Coolness.  A wave of air flowing inside.  O-u-ut.  A tension on the shoulders.  Some background noise.  Now a thought: "Will I document this experience well?  Will it be interesting?"


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Eating a chocolate

Will document a mindful experience: eating a chocolate.  Start with some centring meditation.  Relaxed.  Soft muscles along the shoulders.  Flowing alignment in the body.  Nice.  Pleasant.


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10 minutes guided breathing meditation

Sitting.  Breathing in.  Breathing out.  Slight loosening of the chest.  Intention to focus on the breath: for ten minutes.  Press "Play"...

 


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Eating a raspberry

Sitting.  Relaxed.  A raspberry in view.  A soft texture, malleable to the touch.  Deep redness.  White spots where the light reflects, the grooves along each segment a darker red.  Tiny hairs sticking out, like those of a stinging nettle.


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Brushing teeth

Over the sink.  Reaching out to grab the toothbrush.  A familiar movement, a familiar contact and texture.  The other arm picks up the toothpaste.  The first manoeuvres the toothbrush inside the palm, freeing up the thumb and index finger to unscrew the lid.  In a many-times exercised motion toothpaste is swiped on, the lid is screwed back and the tube rested on the cabinet.


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Some stress in the office

My call is today.  Feeling nervous.  The guy is an expert in the field.  What do I have to offer?  Nervousness is creeping in...


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Sitting on the train

Settled on an window seat: Great Western to London.  Comfortable.  A firm solid support holding my back rather more upright than it is during my usual sofa-lounging at home.


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