Hridaya 10 day Silent Retreat - Day 10)
Let life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves. Tagore
Death will come for all of us; we tend to think it is far away and happening to someone else. In fact it is the only certainty in our life, you can doubt god but you cant doubt death. I am ok with death. I know that's probably easier to think about when it is not imminent but I believe the soul is residing in this body in this lifetime and in the next will reside in another. I don't feel it's the end, I feel it’s this body old and worn out dissolving into totality but the soul is eternal. It can never die. To let someone go, to know you will not know them or meet them in this form in this lifetime is heartbreaking.
Of course we experience grief, deep loss and suffering. Is it possible to accept what seems unacceptable.
I have an awareness that when the body dies you go nowhere
Its raining, I am beginning to love the sound of thunder and rain. There is nowhere I want to be but her. At lunch I walk flip flops flipping, stones shooting up the backs of my legs and serve myself my last lunch. I am not too much of a foodie but most of the retreat I have been dieing to get out of the shala when the gong sounds because my skin hurts. So I am usually first in line. Today I do not feel that rush, I listen to my footsteps and smile when I see it is Masaman curry. I know that is Petes favourite. I could not have wished for a more fitting last meal. I sit looking out over the garden. A butterfly like none I have ever seen is struggling to lift its plump body with its fragile wings. I marvel at the strength and the light on its wings. In that moment a ghecko pops up inches from it. I gasp out loud. Shocked somewhat at the sound of my gasp and shocked at what is about to happen in front of me. I want to stop it. Press pause, we have just been listening to the idea that tampering with death might be poison. As the ghecko wriggles closer the butterfly flits to another flower….the danger is not over but at least there is more space between them. The ghecko starts to stalk again, the butterfly flits to another bush, I exhale. For a moment I am able to breathe before the butterfly comes back to the initial bush and almost lands on the gheckos head. I am beside myself. Thrill seeker butterfly with a death wish. I almost cant bear it. Then as quickly as the drama unfolded it ends, the butterfly stretches her wings rises on the breeze and lives to tell the tale. I am stilled.
We return after lunch. The afternoon schedule is a little different, we listen to a beautiful story called Grace and Grit by Ken Wilbur http://www.kenwilber.com/Writings/PDF/GG--Wren2-p.pdf I can no longer make notes, I am crying big fat tears, the ink in my note book has blurred. I don't want to make notes I am listening with every essence of my being at this tale of love and conscious dying. I feel so alive, so grateful, so filled with awe, love, wonder and beauty. Thoughts of Hendri have of course entered my mind during the10 days. The day I experienced myself as god, as essence. I wondered if he had in the moment he left too. I wondered if he had somehow prepared himself for dying. He always wanted to not miss it.
We move into our last meditation before we start the sharing circle. I feel absorbed into oneness. I do not want the 10 days to end. I do not want to talk, to hear my voice. I do not miss the online world, I feel clear, bright, luminous. Everything is beautiful, everyone is beautiful, everyone is worth loving, I feel universal love and compassion for all. As the sharing circle opens no one speaks. It takes a while before a gorgeous blonde haired lady steps up. She opens the gate for hours of sharing. The struggles, the abuse, the sadness, the courage, the bravery. People on their own path, healing deep wounds, stories of trauma and abuse. I see no shrink recommending 10 days of silence and self enquiry. These people bought themselves here recognizing the work had to start observing the self. I feel blessed. My past dramas, betrayals, recent bites seem small in comparison to the grief that is shared but there are also the stories of hope, a glimpse of reality here and there, positivity, healing and the awareness of oneness. I am tired but ecstatic. The hug from Sahaja feels like I am hugging the world. I am breathless as he holds space for everyone. There are no words.