They say what's buried in the winter is found again in spring
Humans really cannot do two things at once. The majority of times that I try to, like talking to someone while sending a quick text or typing on my laptop and trying to listen (or my pet hate: someone scrolling on their phone while we’re talking) – I invariably miss something, or most likely – everything.
Earlier this year I had two choices: go to Sri Lanka or experience intense presence in silence. My curiosity won and I went on a 7-day silent meditation retreat with Spanda School in coastal West Australian bushland.
There is such richness to be lived offline. I found it incredibly humbling and healing to not speak for seven days, and I experienced a lightness of being I cannot explain.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. – Naomi Shihab Nye
However, being completely in silence did have its challenges. The list of what I couldn’t do was long (no talking, no reading, no phone, no music, no eye contact, no internet – to name a few). Only writing was allowed. And write I did.
My intention for going off the grid was to ‘unravel’. I filled up an entire Moleskin notebook with words from my stream of consciousness. In it is one attempt at poetry, lists, personal explorations, some things I probably don’t want to reread, and letters to the great loves of my life (I knew there would be an ex-boyfriend day!).
Every next level of life will demand a different you. – Leonardo DiCaprio
A lot of people have since asked me if I was bored or challenged or scared. Yes, yes, and yes. I have been doing Vedic meditation for two years, and yet I was still quietly worried if I would ever feel my legs again after four to six hours of meditating per day on the retreat. I had willingly signed up for no connection, no communication, no screens, no books, and essentially – living in flight mode. I quickly realised there was no way to Command T my way out of this.