Postcard from a Retreat
When we design SPT retreats and SPT training course we focus mostly on SPT as a method to cultivate and build inner capacities for change, leadership, and relations. Our emphasis is on the part of the SPT DNA that comes from contemplative traditions, such as meditation.
In SPT practice, as well as in meditation practice, it is well known that it takes a lot of practice and time to build inner capacities with more substance. This is no different than other practice-based skills, ask any musician, dancer, or football player. That’s why You do things again and again, following the principle of “constant dropping wears the stone”.
I try to walk the talk and therefore I am in meditation retreat most of the first half of this year. One of the things I repeat day after day during my retreats are the SPT Practice “20 Minutes Dance”. I take the invitation to be present in the body, listen, sensing… Observing… Walk into the zone of not knowing, allowing the new to come or not?
I often realize that now I am distracted, thinking of something, or spacing out in a sleepy mood. Ups, back to the body… Remember where to place the loyalty… And still, a moment later the same story unfolds again.
Often, there on the floor, I am wondering where did this movement start? When the mind picks up on it and follows, the movement has already started on its way to yet a yet unknown destination. Other times I must admit that the mind just want to dominate, and it starts to look more like a Yoga class – “oh, I just need to stretch this muscle”.
How much can I let go?
From my meditation pillow I can see a Blackbird; it’s looking for food in the garden. I feel very present, I am here now, not thinking of something else. But still… I call it a Blackbird. Words and definitions brought in from the past. And I assume he is looking for food, which is grounded in earlier experiences. Only part of the experience is fresh. I can enjoy the unique situation, I never seen this Blackbird sitting right there and the light is very pleasant, a lovely, beautiful, and safe situation.
From a meditation cushion someone looking out in a garden, letting go deeper… No words, no names, not recognizing anything, everything is completely fresh, new, and unknown. No frames of reference, only unlimited space and something knowing it… Freedom.
Contraction, fear… Falling back into being me… Grasping out after some safe landing space, something I recognize. Oh, a Blackbird looking for food in the garden, ahh so nice!
Letting go is a complex business
I guess most of us are more radical when we talk about letting go, that what we actually can and dare to let go in reality. And with a slight tendency to overestimate how radical we are in action, not only because we are “cowards” but also because our habits, culture, understanding, mind, nervous system and so on are so complexly mingled together, that it takes a lot of practice to experience and realize just the size and different levels of material that we have to let go of… And then to do it, to really let go.
But we don’t give up! Do we? We just practice more and more.
Warm greeting from a Blackbird and Anders Fabricius observing the garden