I've just taken a deep breath and have decided to dive back into blogging. This time I won't begin with an apology for taking so long to write a post. Instead, I'll talk about the journey back. Last weekend, I had the honour of taking part in a Silent Retreat at Five Oaks Retreat Centre near Paris, Ontario. This is my third year attending and each weekend that I spend in this sacred place brings new lessons and a deeper discovery of myself. Before I leave for each of these retreats, I experience a myriad of emotions ranging from excitement to trepidation. But once I arrive and launch into the ceremony that takes us into silence, I feel a sense of peace and assurance that this is "right". Those who participate with me are all women...this year 26 of us. We are free to do what we wish with the hours of silence. Every once in a while a meditation, yoga or art session is offered but they are mandatory and we are told to partake of them only if we feel called to do so. When the weekend is over, we come out of silence as a group and it is often a very emotional experience as we share the lessons that we learned with one another. Even though the women who attend are strangers to one another, they form a strong and powerful bond as they move through the weekend, sometimes spending time together or meeting by chance on a nature trail or in the hallways. We put so much stock in talk but I realize that in silence we can connect equally as well and perhaps even deeper and in a more meaningful way.
I'll sign off with a quotation from Franz Kafka:
You don't need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Don't even listen, simply wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet."