Sedona NonDual Spiritual Retreat
“Because our minds are so allied to our survival and because we are struggling to survive from the first breath of air we take, our trust becomes misplaced. Instead of surrendering to the greater Oneness we are born from, this mental controlling survivalist force rules our Circle.”
The above four words describe the Bare Bones Retreat and the Vision Quest. But how do these four words work together? Sedona is a place of pilgrimage. Most people come here in search of not just some “thing”, but themselves or the self. This self is not separate from other selves and the consciousness of all things. Sedona in its beauty and power of the land thrusts us into the experience of connectedness.
Spirit or Spiritual is a word we use to describe something less tangible than our bodies, our cars, our homes, this hardcore reality. We use these words to invoke our deeper yearning for an experience of our essence. We yearn for wholeness, harmony, and freedom. This is a yearning for an experience of the Unity of all things. And this Unity is One, not many. It is Non-Dual.
Medicine of One invokes our essential Unity with all things to heal us and bring us back into harmony. The Navajo believe that illness is being out of Harmony, like a song from which notes and phrases have been lost. We lose our sense of being the “Deep Listening” which I also call The Big I
The paradox is that it is never lost. We lose our way.
What about retreat. Is this some kind of organized event filled with ongoing activities. Isn’t the true retreat a forward movement into what is real and meaningful. These are difficult times we live in. Uncertainty is at every door. Our jobs, our livelihood, our government, our planet. Can we withdraw from this or can we seek out what is real. Real in the sense of serving the whole.
Because our minds are so allied to our survival and because we are struggling to survive from the first breath of air we take, our trust becomes misplaced. Instead of surrendering to the greater Oneness we are born from, this mental controlling survivalist force rules our Circle. Because this controlling force functions primarily from fear, we can’t hear the deeper truth because we don’t know how to trust.
This listening becomes the active walking of the path to the truth of who you are. It is this listening that brings you the experience which answers the question Who am I? I say path because it is like learning to walk. You don’t learn to walk by waiting for your legs to move. You begin on your stomach, then you get up on your knees, you crawl and then at some point an amazing thing happens. For the first time you stand on your own two feet, maybe with help, and then you do it without any help. There is a little help with those first few steps and finally the magic moment when something inside you knows walking. You walk and you never forget. And just maybe this walking is a remembering of something you already knew.
Translate this into levels of listening. Feel yourself in these moments of transition as you move out of a natural deep listening presence. First, in the womb, something enters the human fetus as a unique presence … unique, but inseparable even as it bathes in amniotic fluid like a drop in the ocean that’s still inseparable from that ocean. Feel yourself as this thoughtless presence that is still so close to what is not born and what does not die. Now feel your birth and the birth of awareness as the dot in the Circle begins. You begin and awareness begins. Your world begins, and you begin your journey of survival. In this beginning you are the deep listening. But part of your survival will be a disconnection that results in not listening, not knowing, not feeling. Abandoning your emotional world will be part of how you survive. What was once natural becomes unnaturally unlearned. But your true self’s first manifestation as I is this deep listening presence that evolves into awareness, which leads to awareness of the world … which leads to the experience of separateness.
The big I is separated into the little i. That moment when you get up off the floor and walk is also when you take a definitive step into this little i and begin to separate from the big I. The next step will be when that little you begins talking. Talking and walking – ah! The praise, the attention – Give me more! I think I will giggle and laugh and do a little dance. Now you learn that how you behave determines the quality of attention you receive.
We want loving, appreciative attention. So you mold yourself to that at the expense of what you are really feeling. You begin to learn how to put on a smiling mask, which seems to allow you to control how others respond to you. You separate from your true presence and unlearn the deep listening, which is just being in intimate contact with the truth of you and how you feel in the moment where the big I is. You are losing the deep listening that connects you with the One … and everyone around you encourages you to do so. You have entered the maze that will create confusion until you choose to awaken your listening and journey through the labyrinth of self. In this stage of your childhood the most immediate desire is I want to be loved. Your want is not a thought anymore than hunger is a thought. You want warmth that brings safety. We need this Circle of love to become emotionally healthy.
Now there is you and everyone else: you and the others who can give you what makes you feel good. You have a hunger for a particular kind of experience that depends on others. Now you are the experiencer who wants a particular kind of experience that is provided to you from another human, from something other than you. Your need and hunger cause you to split off from the flow of your deep listening. You listen as a hungry ghost. The experiencer and the experience are no longer unified. You have separated from your deep listening forsaking your journey to the true self in the labyrinth, and entered the maze of wanting with the thinking mind as your guide. Without this deep listening it will be as if you grabbed a false thread that will lead you to a false center. Seeking true love and peace, you reach outward toward others giving them the power to determine your centeredness.
Worry becomes the great block to trust and deep listening. Worry presents many options as well as the worry of which thread to choose. Deep listening follows one thread of truth. But the thread lies hidden beneath the louder noise of the worrying mind. Consider invoking your deeper listening that penetrates beneath the rapid motions of the thinking mind. Consider committing yourself to deep listening.
See with your ears. Listen with your eyes. Smell with your whole body. If what you hear is the quiet, this is the listening I am talking about. I am not talking about the voices of spirits or God speaking in the human language. This listening I am speaking of hears what is there before language and stalks through the woods of Who Am I. Its prey is the origin of thought. The mind that listens sees itself as hunter and prey merged into One, as they become the unmoving Circle in which they move. This listening is not your mind looking for tangible answers you can hold like an object in your hands, nor is it a seeing that can delineate what it has found.
Deep listening occurs when the experience and the experiencer are One. There is no separation. There is no subject and object. You are in the flow on the river of life. The true thread leads you to your own loving presence. The true action of self-love is made possible by this presence that listens before thought. You grasp the thread as this action of deep listening. As this listening you follow the thread of truth home.
My service is to help bring you home to your own knowing by helping you “clear the way” to what has always been there, like a compass that forever knows true north. It is my hope that I may serve you one day in a Retreat, Vision Quest, Soul Retrieval Journey or a Sacred Places journey on the land.