Sunday, June 10, 2012

Funny The Way It Is

Funny the way it is, a song by the Dave Matthews Band, sums-up how I am feeling tonight. I just went for a nice bike ride and am feeling the heat of the day even at this late hour (8:00 p.m.). I had an experience this weekend that required a measure of endurance, along with a splash of tenacity and a whole lot of observing. I journeyed with a friend to a formal meditation retreat, which is referred to as Sesshin in Zen language. Now, my usual retreats (well this year has been like a retreat blitz...but what I consider my usual retreat) consists of 6 - 8 days of silence, scripture, poetry, prayer/meditation, and meeting with a spiritual director daily to discuss the God quest. Before my final vows I made a thirty day silent retreat and it was difficult on many levels, yet even that does not compare to this 2 1/2 day experience of Sesshin. There were elements to the ritual that reminded of my religious life and the things that are meaningful to the spiritual practices of church and community as we chanted, prayed and shared in ritual meals. In August I will go on a shortened silent retreat as I switch over to the winter months for a longer retreat (it appears my new schedule should permit it and there is something I love about the silence in the winter months). The paradox of every retreat I have been on is that it connects me to the reality that something is going on in one place while another thing which could be considered polar opposite is occurring elsewhere, and in all of this we at times find ourselves in the polarities. However, most often we reside somewhere in between: We withdraw from our ordinary experiences to retreat into activities of silence, reflection and sharing that allows us to connect more wholly to the world. The song "Funny The Way It Is" depicts the reality of our existence in a way that I cannot. In the car on the way home my friend talked about opportunities for some in contrast to the devastation of others (although she was not that extreme in her language). While on the bike enjoying the breeze I had an awareness that this is not so for everyone, some people do not even have the opportunity to stand let alone get on a bike and ride. So, I leave you with the lyrics and song as the dance of suffering and joy continues in all of our lives. Oh, one more thing....Thanks for last weeks responses Anonymous and Mary Rose! Okay, now for the video:

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