Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I leave for a 10-day meditation retreat in a few hours, and as i pack my bag an old quote from James Michener's novel Space comes to mind yet again:

"An Age isn't called Dark because the light didn't shine, but because people refused to see."

At the retreat we'll meditate just short of 11 hours a day, for 10 days. Why would people ever agree to do that? Because they are tired of refusing to see. Because they are tired of wandering in the dark. Because they wonder what the world looks like with the lights on.

There was an article online recently about some new caves that have been found in Vietnam. Huge caves; big enough to hold a great many city blocks of 40-story buildings. With running rivers, forests, plants, pools, etc; a veritable world within the world. It's not that it wasn't there before the explorers recently found it, it's only that no one had made the effort to do the work, strap on the ropes, and lower themselves inside, with bright lights shining in all directions.

That's what meditation is all about — investing the time and energy needed to lower yourself into the caves of your mind, with 'lights' on bright, in order to investigate what's there, in order to document the ecosystem, in order to research who lives there, how they live, why they do what they do. The purpose is to expose yourself to yourself. The purpose is to finally put batteries in that mental flashlight you inherited when you were born, but never bothered to turn on.

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