Sometimes a Retreat is an Advance

I’d sunk into a swamp of depression. Why bother going? It was only overnight. I cancelled, one day too late to get a refund. So I went.

Nearly there, I found the road blocked. The tunnel said “Under construction.” What next? Go back home? Try to find another way and arrive late? No and no.

So I broke rules. I drove around the barricade and through the tunnel. There was no ditch to fall into, no rubble to hit. I arrived. I showed up.

Teacher saw me and leaped with joy – literally! She hugged me, and I began to cry. Twenty of us sat in slience; we walked in silence. Zazen is painful drudgery. But the tears subsided.

I sat. I counted my breaths. I walked. I ate. I slept. I met privately with my teacher.

Sick of being mom, managing my child? Then be an easy mother!
Lonely? Get out of the Internet echo chamber. Talk to a person.
Bored? Reflect on what resonates; listen for my voice.
Scared about new responsibility? Just show up. Do the next task.
Stop hiding in the house. The world is right here and now.

Later, walking on the beach alone, I found rusty rose starfish washed ashore. It fit the palm of my hand. It was alive! Waiting for a return ride on the tide.

Hello, friend.

I looked up. Saw a man. Decided this discovery was too good to keep to myself. So I went up to him and shared. And he smiled and marveled. And then I did it again, with a woman jogging. And again, with another woman!

Their eyes widened, awakened. They smiled with the joy of the encounter.

Hello, friend.

Words swept from my mind
Scatter like moths in the wind
Wave meets rock meets wave

seal rocks, or
Explore posts in the same categories: Buddhism, Community, Journal, Meditation, Nature, Spirit

4 Comments on “Sometimes a Retreat is an Advance”

  1. Mom/Grandma Says:

    Beautiful dear one <3

  2. Big Sister Says:

    You are at crossroads…I know you will pick the right path for you!

  3. Shalet Says:


  4. Eileen Says:

    I loved this entry……. sounded so peaceful……….