In the Himalayas, the 10 days before lunar new year are a time of intensive practice, casting out old ghosts and beating the dusty carpets of the mind. So when Lodro and Susan invited me to be part of this really fun six-day online retreat (access it here — http://mindfulnewyear.wordpress.com) I thought how cool! I signed up to do the very first session on the first day. At 8 AM, hours before I normally feel presentable. My session went pretty well, I think; I felt a sense of accomplishment at doing something new, for me — talk to invisible strangers about meditation practice. Eek!
Surprisingly I jumped to to turn on the computer at 8 AM the next day. Normally I like to meditate on my own — “Meditating on the internet? Seriously?” Yes, Inner Voice, it’s been fun and supportive to join an invisible crowd of people sharing space (though never jostling for seats). I’ve been surprised by what each new teacher says. They flicker and talk, inches away from a thousand faces– beyond the edge of the screen could be their dog or their dragon.
Once, I confess, I filed a sheet of paper knowing nobody can see me. For I’m meditating in my desk, where normally I work. Yet the tone of working is changed slightly by the meditations even if they’re lightly corrupted. I’ve been Building a Mindful New Year two or three times each day.
This is a way of developing a genuinely deeper heart. This free online retreat is nearly half-over, but before it’s completely finished, I want to share it with all you folks who visit this blog from time to time. Tomorrow, Monday, I may only be able to do the AM session because I’ll be on a plane to Miami to visit my stepmom, Lynn, and then do a writing retreat. But if you come into the retreat we might be doing it together.
Happy Old Year! Happy New Year! May we all be happy and let go of whatever we don’t need. Greet 2015 with generosity, discipline, patience.