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Hridaya 10 day silent retreat- day 2)

Day Two

Love is a sweetness but its inner reality is bewilderment. Abu 'Ali ad-Daqqaq

Today I wonder what if the heart could think…would schools look different? Would we have a different realm of knowledge. What if we connected through the heart and not the mind. School trains the mind but in the domain of the heart we are illiterate. We think the heart is the seat of emotion but the heart is more then that…it is the gateway to the self. The ultimate.

Self love – Psychotherapists say lack of self love is the biggest problem…is the answer, to acknowledge and celebrate your self more with hot baths, flowers and chocolates or to acknowledge that self love is actually to love the SELF….the same SELF that is in each of us.

I start to experience my breath caressing my heart. Gently stroking it as I inhale and gently stroking it as I exhale. I decide to keep this rhythm and awareness up throughout the day. As I go about eating, walking, showering, it feels beautiful, I feel connected to the very essence of myself. Could one keep this up forever?

I notice my hips are becoming more open. This sitting on the floor all day really makes a difference. I love the period of self-practice. I practice long held seated poses and watch as the layers I have built up around my hips start to melt away. Wide leg forward fold, pigeon, double pigeon. I am floating on an asana high. Bit by bit I am dissolving. Meditation periods are comfortable my mind seems pretty well trained.

We are working on love and I suddenly feel that my challenge is not the monkey mind but that my heart might be closed to love. When did I stop seeing wonder everywhere I looked? Ok I might see wonder more then the average person but when did I stop feeling tears at a butterfly in flight? The heart closes from fear or the ego. So how do I reopen the creaky door of my heart again? I hope I learn soon there is only 8 days left. We are told to come back to who am I. It is not a question for the mind, its for the heart. It’s not a mantra it’s a remembrance.

Even when you tear its petals off one after another, the rose keeps laughing and doesn't bend in pain. Rumi

Day 2 is over.

We hop on our bike and go home…only to discover the little cat we have been feeding has started vomiting all over the bed. The poor thing was vomiting after meals before the training started and we took her to the street animal centre for checking. They de wormed and her and took blood, hydrated her and returned her. She had seemed to be getting better. This is not a good sign. Tomorrow we will have to take her back to the centre again. It’s not an ideal scenario. We are supposed to be mindful and still but both of us are animal lovers and seeing this skinny little creatures legs buckle as she vomited is hard to ignore especially when one is practicing compassion and focusing on the spiritual heart.

I jump in the shower. My skin is on fire. Where it itched yesterday has started to come up in bumps. The cold shower seems to ease it. I jump into bed and then spend the entire night trying not to tear my skin. What is going on? I thought these were mad mosquito bites but each one is swelling up like a mini pyramid and the itch is insane. The bites seem to have an alarm that sets them all off at once. Post shower I have a small reprieve of itching. I hope sleep comes quickly before the itching starts again. Sleep does not come. I feel too awake to even let go to sleep. Pete is the same, he is tossing and turning. I can tell from his breathing pattern he is not asleep either. I remember this being normal from other periods of intense learning I have done. They say when you meditate you need less sleep. Lets hope so.

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