December 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm #36111
I just arrived for my yearly private winter hermit retreat.
I will be in retreat until Jan. 6, 2011, staying in a private
isolated hermitage cabin in the winter woods.
Intention as usual after a few days of rest, is devoted practice
(qigong and meditation) on the order of 5-6hrs per day +.
I’ll probably walk to the main building once per day to check email
and give myself an opportunity to go for a nice walk, but
response times are obviously somewhat limited . . .
Lots of love to you all,
StevenDecember 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm #36112
Have a deep time with yourself and the Universe Steven. I hope you can find the bits and pieces you are looking for, or not 🙂 just being with what is….
much love for you during this turn-over of the year!
WendyDecember 11, 2010 at 11:53 am #36114
That is wonderful to hear that you have found a true love, though a continent away. If you want to commiserate on the problems of distance, Wendy (in Belgium) and I (in Canada) would certainly be open.
Your retreat sounds good.December 11, 2010 at 11:57 am #36116
separated, but with a common groundDecember 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm #36118
Or this one, after being tinyurl-ed:
http://tinyurl.com/28xfn6lDecember 11, 2010 at 12:34 pm #36120
All alone, silence,
buried in the snow.
or in soup. Dried
fish a fire and
hours of time to
nice…enjoy AdelDecember 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm #36122
Have a nice retreat! Sounds greate that you give yourself those hermit retreats for
deepening of the practises.
I look forward to hear about what you discover during that period of time.
SDDecember 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm #36124
I’ll try to drop in, once a day or so,
and see how you all are doing.
It gives me an excuse to walk.
First few days are always pretty lazy.
When you arrive in a private isolated hermit retreat
like this, the silence is deafening. Somehow
your body and spirit realizes how much of your life,
you are kept alive by activity and outside stimulation . . .
A subtle undercurrent of stress that rides just below the
surface that you don’t even notice is there until you
experience the joy of complete silence and solitude.
It is really powerful. This, coupled with the feeling
of not having anything that you *need* to do, penetrates
deep into your core.
Suddenly, your body feels like it can really and truly relax.
An immense fatigue hits as your body lets go of all its subtle
tension. It becomes a rejuvenation period. Lots of wild dreams.
After this energetic detox reaches its completion . . . usually
around day 3 or 4, then you can get deeply into practice. Until
then, it is difficult to do much.
This retreat is no different.
I think I slept 11 hours last night, and then took another 3 hour nap
this afternoon. I did spend some time reading and listening to some
audio CDs of spiritual materials (HT and others) when I was awake.
Today there is a big snowstorm. It dropped 1.5 feet (!) of snow,
and it is still snowing. When I walked in to the main building to
check email, etc., the snow was up to my thighs, with the flakes still
falling. Amidst the background of the snow-covered forest, the silence . . .
only broken by the sound of the wind and snow rustling through the trees.
Absolutely beautiful . . .
Allowing it to penetrate my soul . . .
SDecember 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm #36126
My beloved currently wishes to remain private
and anonymous for the time being, so out of
my deep love for her, I hope you understand
my relative silence on our relationship . . .
However, I would love to hear anything that you two would
be willing to share about the challenges you two
have faced and/or have overcome and/or dealt with
in your trans-continental relationship. I imagine that
anything you might share would not only be greatly
helpful and appreciated by us, but would be of interest
and value to the forum community at large.
StevenDecember 14, 2010 at 3:19 am #36128
The retreat sounds awesome.December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am #36130
Long distance relationships are an interesting, wonderful, frustrating dynamic.
They are wonderful in that we have met someone so special, that they are exotic (from somewhere else!), and that they develop in a punctuated way that allows each partner to go off and grow on their own in between times of blissful togetherness.
They are frustrating in that the other is so often away, and that time away usually leads to a shift in way of being with each other, with blissful joy together drifting away until the other is just an interesting person on the computer screen. Early in our relationship Wendy heard an opera singer on the radio saying that when he was away from his wife for more than two weeks, she was sort of like a stranger when they came back together. And Wendy and I have found the same – after the first few passion filled visits when we learning so much about each other, the reconnections became a little more slow. We learned to give our energy bodies time to readjust to the new dynamic, to trust that it will happen, and it always does, a flood of love coming in sometimes a couple of hours, sometimes up to a day, after getting back together. We were surprised at this body-energy aspect as we can connect astrally through our hearts….but that just isn’t relevant to the body!
At one point Wendy found a book on Long Distance Relationships that she found very helpful. There are a bunch of them on Amazon, and I would recommend getting one to help alert you to possible pitfalls. Also, once your relationship moves out of the heady romantic phase where your lover can do no wrong, and she starts becoming a reals person with real problems that really trigger things in you, I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend getting the book “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix and, if possible, taking a weekend workshop on it with your love. We can talk more about it if you are interested.
ChrisDecember 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm #36132
Hey Steven, it does sound awesome. Have fun, and be well!
-RyanDecember 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm #36134
Slowly coming out of my energetic detox
& sleeping part of the retreat . . .
There are so many subtle layers of tension,
and holding patterns held deep . . . patterns
you don’t even realize are present until you
are placed in a situation where you are in
complete silence with no responsibilities,
no obligations, and in complete solitude.
In such a situation, there is a fair amount
of releasing, of relaxing, of letting go . . .
And the body feels good to rest. To rest
as much as it needs to, with no demands that
it recover in a particular time frame, to just
take what it needs to rest.
I drove to the closest town (an hour away) today,
for the purpose of stocking up on bananas (a staple
of mine) and for getting some skin moisturizing cream
(winter air and/or wood stove is drying out my hands).
Also because I anticipate beginning the “actual practice”
soon, and wish to have some dedicated time where I
don’t need to leave for a while.
I ran into a quite annoying woman while out shopping.
After ringing up my purchase, she made a mistake
and ended up charging me too much. Not a big deal,
but when I pointed it out to her . . . she noticed
that she did indeed make a mistake, she admitted it,
but then refused to correct it, saying that “I’m sorry,
but that’s how it was punched in”. I remained calm, and
continued to remind her that it was wrong. She
continued to agree that it was wrong, but refused
to rectify it, continually saying “that’s the way
it was punched in” over and over again like a broken
record. I remained calm and called over the manager.
The manager immediately rectified the problem.
Problem solved. Right?
Well I get to my car, and I’m still thinking about that
woman, and how could she be working for the place
for 18 years (proudly displayed on her nametag), and
still be so inept and impolite to guests. Five minutes
later, I’m still thinking about it. Then I ask myself,
“why am I still thinking about this? why can’t I just
drop it and let it go?” It isn’t about the woman;
it’s about me not letting it go. I sort of realized
that under the circumstances, probably most people
would be inclined to keep thinking about it . . . so
it’s not as if I thought the behavior to be particularly
unusual from typical average human behavior, but I
did find it to be curious.
Then I started to go within, and noticed a deeper pattern
at work of “not letting things go”. Each individual
thing, very understandable–but still present . . .
like the pain I had for a couple of years after the
end of my previous relationship . . . that was something
I had trouble letting go of. I spent the hour-long drive
back to my hermitage exploring this idea of “letting things
go”, and was enamored by this observation I hadn’t noticed
I suppose it is totally appropriate for me to dig deeply
into this phenomenon of “letting go”, as really that is
what it is that I’ve been doing for the past few days . . .
namely letting go of this underlying tension I’ve been
I found the whole thing fascinating, and even more
amusing is that I’m not sure I would have noticed it,
had I not been in such a quiet, mindful place as
on such a retreat.
StevenDecember 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm #36136
Thanks for sharing!
I may have to check out that book when I get home from retreat.
You mentioned that the “being away” is difficult/frustrating.
This I whole-heartedly agree with. It’s extremely hard.
So I guess the question is:
I’d sort of be interested to know
why the two of you continue to choose to be
in a long-distance relationship as opposed to
simply relocating to remove the long-distance.
(or is this in the works?)
If this gets into something personal that you don’t wish
to discuss, I completely understand. But I’d say the
most poignant question a person might ask about
long-distance relationships is why the long-distance
is not closed. 😉 Was it matter of wanting to have
an extended period of time to test out the waters
with the person, or are there other barriers involved?
Any information you wish to share is great, but
feel no obligation to do so, if you’d rather not disclose.
StevenDecember 14, 2010 at 11:56 pm #36138
Well, Wendy and I have established lives, so it makes a move a slower issue. When we started our relationship we were both in failing marriages. So, divorces had to happen. Initially the idea was that Wendy would quickly come move to me. But, as she extricated herself from her marriage and became stronger, her need to run away was no longer so strong. Also, she has three teen-aged girls, and she wanted to be able to stay as long as possible with them before leaving. It has been difficult for her balancing coming to spend time with me to keep the relationship going as that means she isn’t making money and can thus afford to stay in Belgium much longer. With my job, I can get away for long periods in summer and Xmas, but not during the fall and winter, so she has to travel then. As her money has dwindled, as her girls become independent, and as we have cleaned up our personality defects (developed in reaction to parents, and strengthened with our exes), the time to come together draws near. We marry this summer and Wendy moves here. She will go back to Belgium regularly to work and visit her girls and family.
I am sure that your situation is very different than ours! But, I expect that the issue of who should move, what it means in terms of finances and independence, may bring up similar issues that played out between your parents. If it does, this offers a wonderful opportunity to extricate yourself (or herself) from replaying those unconscious dynamics. This is where the Harville Hendrix work has come in so useful for Wendy and me.
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