I awoke at 4am for the morning meditation. I discovered that the people who live at the retreat center and those who came to help out, like myself, had a set schedule to follow as well. It seemed to be this:
4:00-4:45am – meditate
6:00-7:30am – meditate and class
7:30-8:30am – breakfast
9:00-1:00pm – work
1:00-2:00pm – lunch
2:00-4:00pm – work
4:00-5:00pm – tea
7:00-7:30pm – meditate
7:30-8:30pm – dinner
While I was meditating, I started to think about my resolution about giving up on finding “the one” for a while. What would help me most? To be celibate? To just hook up? To date a guy who does not further my goals of settling down and having kids? Or just purposely not looking and having no expectations and what happens happens. This last sounded like my ordinal idea. The different part is figuring out what rules to follow. Or do I throw out the rules and give up expectations?
I walked a lot of the grounds with Christine. She talked about what needed work and seemed to want me to choose what I wanted to work on. I liked this idea! We also talked as we walked. I liked talking to her about spirituality. She made me feel insightful while gently correcting my few mistakes. It’s like we spoke a similar language. We talked of expectations. I thought having expectations was my problem, but my real problem was being attached to my expectations. I also thought that expectations implied attachment but realized that it does not necessarily. After discussing her encounter with a bear, we talked about fear. She said that the way to conquer fear is through meditation.
I worked all day in the gardens, doing various tasks that seemed interesting to me. I really didn’t think about anything other than my work except at meals. I was really focused.
By the time tea time rolled around. After tea Christine and Pat came to see my work. They were really pleased with what I did! By the time I got back, I needed a nap. I was only able to nap for less than an hour. I wanted to be on time for dinner. In fact, I was early for every meal because I was ravenous. The nap didn’t help the tiredness and it was difficult for me to smile pleasantly at dinner. I went to bed around 8pm. As I laid there awaiting sleep, I felt a surge of gratitude. I had worked hard all day yet I was the one who felt grateful. I lay there enjoying the feeling as I drifted off to sleep.
Here are some more bits of wisdom I picked up in the morning spirituality class:
If you are able to stabilize your intellect so you can have one thought as long as you want, you are practicing meditation.
When people are at their lowest, it brings out the worst in you. It takes courage to lift up those who are degraded. When things start to break down, the inner receptors of desire, attachment, and are triggered. Once they’re gone, you won’t get pulled down.
Context is not needed. Innocently give people what they need.
When you stop interfering, you open up the door to your happiness.
Finances: I spent no money today.
Relationships: I hung out with Christine.
Meditation: I meditated today.
Sleep: I am unsure how long I slept, but I would guess maybe 6 hours.
Exercise: I did plenty of exercise today.
Diet: I followed my diet as well as I could. They fed me, so I only insisted on gluten-free fare.
De-cluttering and cleaning: n/a
Hygiene: I showered, but did not brush my teeth today.
Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood, but my mood was clouded by tiredness by the end of the day. My temperament was good.