Retreat Day6: Letting Go & Letting Be

Today marks the mid point, timewise, in the retreat with 4.5 days remaining. Yesterday was another cold and windy day but sunny with a clear blue sky. I biked the same loop but in the reverse direction. I startled a red fox in the clearing along the dirt trail where Benedict Arnold made his escape along the Hudson. On this day it seems he wasn't the only one to make an escape.

I will not bike today. John invited me to go for a walk during our afternoon period of solitude. After lunch there are 3 hours of solitude each day when one is on one's own and can do as one pleases - always a option. I find this amount of free time very helpful to be alone and explore whatever is pleasing - "a part of, apart from."

David has been bringing icons like the one above to the sitting room. He spoke of how icons are painted when the painter is in a state of prayer. Perhaps not unlike the Japanese drum maker who goes searching for the appropriate wood to make a drum. He enters the forest and meditates, opening himself to discover the one tree who's destiny is to become the drum.

David spoke on the contemplative attitudes of Letting Go and Letting Be. Here are some concepts from the talk.

- "Happy are those who find you and open themselves to your light."  - Psalmist

- We let go of much: thoughts, felt spiritual experiences, the false self, surface relationships with and concepts of God, "creatures" (the things of life, people, places, situations..), etc. We don't deny or destroy these things but simply let go of them.

- What is it that I'm being asked by God to let go?

- The original French word for attachment means "nailed to." What am I nailed to?

- "God is always trying to give to us but our hands are too full to receive" - St. Augustine.

I can't recall but someone said the spiritual journey is more about subtraction than addition. How true, and a paradox as well as much is added, but not by us.

Enough for now...

Sent from Ron's iPhone