There was a question asked in the opening circle of the recent summer weekend retreat about "finding your own rhythm".
I had momentarily stepped out of the circle to show a new arrival to accommodations. When I returned, I found people discussing what "finding their own rhythm" might mean to them. I know that phrase was part of our flyer copy for the retreat, but I suddenly saw the inherent problem in the language around the question of finding "my rhythm". It sounds like there's an assumption of a need to find "my own rhythm", as if it would be something necessarily "distinct" or different from others. The problem with language is it often seems to carry assumptions. We respond more or less automatically, looking for something that's "mine" rather than something thats simply here. The mind creates and reinforces separation by conditioned ways of speaking and thinking about myself. We talk about separation as a source of conflict & the basis of suffering. The conditioning that we struggle with when seeking a sense of "oneness" or "unity".
So the clearer we are in using language, the more accurately we can transmit meaning… in awareness.
So what is this rhythm of life we we are referring to?
Is it the rhythms of nature, including ourselves, becoming more obvious as we fall into silence after a few days in the mountains?
The dawn chorus of birds in early morning. The particular song of birds visiting the camp throughout the day. The rhythm of footfall on the stones in the driveway. The rhythm of the breath as it gets quieter day by day. The colors and shapes of the trees as the light & angle of the sun changes throughout the day. The sounds of insects coming to life after dusk. All the subtle changes in nature and how we perceive them as the mind becomes calmer and clearer. As well as attending to what "this person" needs to do in the flow of the daily schedule. When to eat, move, walk or rest.
All these are not "my" rhythms or "your" rhythms, just things we notice as we go along, responding moment by moment. When we put it into words, we insert a personal pronoun by habit, so we are lulled into experiencing things through the filter of "I, me and mine". Not to say that we don't exist as individuals to some extent, each with unique talents, abilities and sensitivities. We experience things "for ourselves", yet often gloss over things by falling easily into accepted language, images and definitions. We lose the sense of directness and purity of an experience as it becomes a "verbalized" memory, remembering how we expressed it rather than how it actually was.
Can we experience the mutuality or "group-ness" in movement and stillness? Is it possible to open to gathering quietness & ease, while strict boundaries and discriminating intellect softens? We don't lose clarity… in fact there's a more distinct bodily awareness in not being so heavily identified. Meditation is the most direct way of learning to just be…being instead of doing. Feeling the "I am" instead of thinking "I am"… in the fog of the identified self. We move and rest as needed without reinforcing the the "extra" sense of an isolated person. This awareness eventually leads to more accuracy in expressing ourselves as well.
In gratitude, Jay
Written by Jay, Edited by Amanda.
We invite you to discuss/ question/ look deeper on the comments below.