It is best when going on retreat to begin before we begin, that is, not going full throttle in life, driving to the retreat and trying to completely switch gears on arrival. Slow down now, be present, sit when you can, be aware of nature, connect with your inner life, be alive in your inner world.
The first major step on any inner path is a liberation from the spell of the outer world, not a rejection, the realization that the bodily and material world is not where we can achieve anything real for ourselves, it cannot give us what we need. We know that but need to live the knowing. This actually makes life in the material world richer and three dimensional.
On a retreat such as we have in April we can go further and see from the inner world that we cannot do. All our trying and identification with self has to let go for this to come. With this something substantial can occur and seeing can become Seeing.
Our theme is Not to Malign Others. Another way of putting this is to be Grateful to Everyone. ‘Oh boy’, how can I do this’, we say as we all see how much we judge, criticize and indeed are not very grateful in the moment.
The first step is to not make unimportant things important. As the Kwajagan state, to ‘Watch each step’, not just literally but to be in touch with Aim; where have we come from and truly where are we headed. We must never forget our Aim and the step we are taking in this moment.
The moment may be complex, full of paradox, ambiguity but if we can’t learn to live with these we will remain eight years old the rest of our lives. Can we befriend the stranger and even the enemy within and without.
Let’s attempt to wake up to our maligning and denigrating others.
We go further with the work of Ramana, and ‘Who Am I?’
In the moment, any moment we awake, am I pretending or am I real, true to my own life. Is my behavior automatic based on habit, attempting to please others, personality, or genuine. Look and see.
We have within a finer energy, an inner vibration within, a more subtle energy that can be felt as a different presence inside. We can be awake to this inner life, pay attention to it, water it, feel it.
When in contact with our inner life there will be some separation from mechanical life, less leaking of energy through our automatic self.
In India one can see the interrelatedness of everything, of all living beings. This can come about when we relinquish control over things which comes from our personality and accept things as they are. This is not about ‘everything is as it should be’ or putting on rosy colored glasses, it is seeing with clarity, not fighting the moment. Our resistance to the unpleasant keeps us asleep and mechanically suffering.
Life is only available in the present moment and as we contact our finer energy we begin to be.
I wanted to write as we prepare for our journey.
Be at ease, India is a safe and fun place to be, modern, ancient, exotic, familiar and always interesting. We tend to bump into what we worry about, so don’t.
How to work now; With our groups we are working deeply with I-Am, work with this each day. If we meet India in I-Am, we will begin to understand her. India is so full of life and life is only available in the present moment.
Travel often involves change and difficulty, but remember that our resistance to unpleasant situations is the root of most suffering.
See you soon in Chennai.
We become the masks we wear.
We are capable of letting go, but at the deepest level Grace is required. Some things go far inside us, to a cellular, DNA, hereditary level.
We have to first work from the bottom up: To see, have intention, struggle, be willing to suffer with what we see, see impartially – we do the work and there is the potential of Grace, which is essential.
It’s foolish to hold on to negativity because of perceived negativity done to us in the past, so defeating— but so hard to let go of.
May we all be able to loosen bonds of negativity we carry around habitually. This helps short circuit “all about me”. Helps develop an unconditioned openness to all that arises.
May the three Racoos become real prayer:
To the Higher in our selves
To the Higher in each/all of us
To the Unfathomable
Our work in its essence is being free and not reacting to people and events that are external to us. Whatever occurs outside of us, we attempt to remain inwardly free and learn not to identify. We strive to face our inner life, the higher in us, as we face the creation around us.
Breath consciously, be present in the sensation of your body, and the warmth of an open heart. Our Work is to transform energy within and the energy that is about, as best we can; Fears, sufferings, worries, Our happiness is in our attitude and presence right now. We transform fear into gratitude for this life, our inner life and Soul that is the gift we have been given.
How do we leak energy? Transformation is not just about higher energy coming in, but making sure that the energy we have is not leaked with negativity and identification.
How do we work with this? First be sincere with yourself – What Are My Biggest Leaks of Energy.
When we find ourselves in the midst of a leak, the negative emotion, sense, come into your presence, feel your body and emotions as are they now, attempt to see this Impartially, no judgment or negativity toward oneself. Just see! Can I see and accept myself as I am and yet allow the leaks to transform. Can I face myself as I am.
This Theme can have a deep gravity in our lives if worked with sincerely.
Our work is seeing where my attention is – now. What is grabbing my attention, inwardly and outwardly – observing ourselves while we engage in life.
Paying attention to this moment.
We strive to develop a power of attention that is non-judgmental, that sees our experience as it occurs.
We attempt not to cling to that which is pleasant or avoid the terrible. Whatever comes, that is the path.
The Fourth Way of Mr Gurdjieff helps us develop this attention not just from the mind, but the body and feelings and helps bring awareness to our external lives; not just when we are sitting.
Mindfulness helps us concentrate our attention, allows us to see intimately our wandering attention. The cure for mindless-ness is mindfulness.
Identification is being lost in what we are doing. We are washing dishes and we no longer exist – we become the activity we are engaged in or our minds and emotions wander away in daydreams.
We are on the computer or our phone and we are completely oblivious to anything else around. We watch TV and only the program exists.
Identification is also with our emotional and physical states. I am not my emotions – someone is feeling depressed and they are depressed. My body is tired and I become tired. The body is not I. Or one is feeling bored and there is identification with oneself or there is over-enthusiasm and we become that, and so on.
Work with seeing the extent of Identification in our lives and observing it – attempt to separate even a bit from the state by coming into our presence; Become aware of being lost in our outward activity or emotional/physical state; Connect to our inner selves through sensation and being collected to create some presence that is separate from the activity or the emotion that we feel.