Monday, January 11, 2010

What I Learned On My 9-Day Meditation Retreat-3

Part Three


Thursday, Day 6—Feeling much better, up at dawn, 2 hours of calm sitting. On the way to breakfast, just rounding a turn in the road at the fork of Casa de Angeles, the lodge dining hall, and Singing Bird Trail, I stopped, rather, was stopped at the sight of Coyote sauntering slowly down the trail toward me. He stopped, turned his head toward me, and there we stayed, eyes locked, just looking, for about 5 minutes. Then Coyote turned away and ambled on down the trail toward the big bell tower, which rang Christmas carols every day precisely at 6 & 9 a.m., 12 Noon, 3, 6 & 9 p.m., where Coyote again stopped and turned his head toward me, eyes meeting mine for another few minutes. I had not moved.

The encounter with Coyote dominated the first few minutes of my meditation period before the morning group reporting session. Then I saw myself walking a mid-sized dog for the next minute or two. Since I had been thinking about volunteering at our local animal shelter, inspired by my friend Bob Vance who has taken this on as part of his retirement volunteering and exercise regimen, this image did not come as strange. What did strike me was a big question that came into view: “Is it enough?”

I just sat with that question for what seemed a long time. Now that I am approaching my 73rd year of living on the planet, the question of what do I do now with the rest of my life comes up now and again. Would it be enough to walk a dog? I’ve had for some time a sense of completion, of having done everything I really wanted to do, with no pressing sense of need to join any more groups, organize any more projects, or get involved in any more causes.

I want now to share some of what I have learned—with my family, my friends, and anyone else who might be interested. To write, to take pictures, to meditate. Is it enough? Seems like an entirely appropriate question.

1 comment:

  1. WOW...what a sight....Coyote looks like he is smiling at you...egging you on about your question "Is it enough?" Another Milan (Kundera) said "To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace."
    You not only will be giving a reward, you will be rewarded as well by walking a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon.
    Hugs- Your Daughter-in-Law