Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Retreat from Retreat

Strange as it may seem, this morning -- skipping class while Joe is in bed reading a book -- is the first time on this retreat that I have felt like I was on retreat! The days are busy with yoga class: 2 1/2 hours in the morning (which seriously feels too long to me), then breakfast, then an excursion, then 1 1/2 hours of yoga at 5, then dinner. The day can pass in a blur. A delicious blur, but a blur nonetheless.

It's gorgeous here and quiet at Casa Sagrada in Teotitlan del Valle this morning. Quiet is not really an apt description of the place, but right now all I can hear is birds. Generally it's a chorus of goats, turkeys, donkeys, dogs, birds. At night there's a bird we've dubbed the smoke alarm bird, since it gives a single piercing cry, then pauses, then another, then pauses, then just when you think it has flown off, another single piercing cry... And of course there is the sound of work during the day layered on top of the animals, and music at night.

Given that this is a group activity, the retreat, it is hard to get a moment alone to quietly consider all of the inputs. I laid awake most of last night plotting out my blog posts, which made me feel as though I was observing my experience in addition to having it -- which I like. In short order, I'll start writing and loading them, which will create not exactly a real-time record, but a record nonetheless.

So I'm musing on whether this is the right kind of retreat for me in future. It's been challenging to get the kind of yoga practice in that my body needs, since the level of the other students is so mixed (some appear not to know sun salutations?), and I am generally challenged by group activities. The trip has been enormously beneficial to me in other ways - some new friends, some deeper friends, and a long immersion in this place and in Spanish, which brings me back to something so central in myself. Right now I am so enjoying the morning sun on the bougainvillea (bugambilia, so much easier in Spanish!) and the silence while everyone else is in practice. More soon!

No comments: