Out on the trail, the loudest sound I heard was the rain when the wind shook it from the pines. Between the quiet, the rest, the reading and the walking, I had an unusual sensation that my chest had expanded and my head was lighter.
Meditation takes us underneath the stream of me. Below our strong ego is an even stronger presence. Meditation discovered by seekers in all the great traditions brings us to the heart of the mind. And this heart is a universal place of refuge.
Beginning our retreat, there may be anxiousness or restlessness separating from our habits, the routine we think we are dependent upon. Soon, there is a lightness of being, freedom, and joy in our surrender. Simple peace is present.
I just got back from leading a 9-day meditation retreat in the wild and cactus-filled desert of Arizona. And I feel exuberant, inspired and powerfully awake to the presence of immanent and seemingly infinite potential.
The benefits of retreating from our lives, taking the time to pull back, are manifold. Besides relaxation, rest, healing and reconnecting with oneself, the opportunity to go within allows us to gain distance and perspective from the circumstances of our lives.
And that in essence is what unplugging is about -- not hating our habits of news consumption or social discourse -- but being willing to experiment with our time and attention, the core treasures of our lives.