Tomorrow morning I will get in my car and drive to Massachusetts to spend a weekend in silence at Insight Meditation Society. It will be my second trip to IMS. You can read about my experience last year in an article published in MindBodyGreen. Last year I drove up and roomed with a friend. We maintained our silence the entire time and didn’t talk until we were on our way home to Philadelphia (65 hours later!) This year I am on my own. In Silence. With no one I know anywhere nearby. Just me, the trees, the vegetarian gluten free-food and over 100 other people. Yes, there are other people who choose to do this!
I am a little anxious about going, but mostly I am looking forward to this time to go deep into silence. As Roland Becker said, “Our Lives manifest in motion, but the power of our lives resides in stillness.” As I emerge from the busy-ness of November and December I find myself craving more time and space to do less, but to feel more. Bussy-ness and schedules can act as cloaks and cover up so much. While I have a daily practice of yoga and meditation, the quality of stillness and deep knowing that occurs over several days in silence is profound. It can be compared to skiing one day, or skiing for several consecutive days. The impact of the consecutive days allows you to become better at skiing; more in the “flow”. The impact of several days in silence allows me to be more in the flow of life. It allows me to tune into the frequency of my heart where all of my wisdom emerges. It allows my busy mind to take a much-needed rest and see with more clarity how I habitually meet life. And, most importantly, it allows me to show up more fully in my life and the life of my loved ones.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn has said,
“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf.” I am thinking of this as my annual surf camp.