Deep Rest

Cara Bradley Meditation, Yoga 1 Comment

lotusI write this entry several days after returning from my silent retreat with Adyashanti at The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.  It has taken me several days to sit and write as 1) the bus-i-ness of life met me head on upon my return and 2) there is so much to tell and yet so little to say that I needed to pause before setting pen to paper.

Spiritual seekers have been taking “noble silence” for thousands of years.  Many, many stilldo from clergy in all the religious traditions to the indigenous and native folk that still practice the lineages of their ancestors. I knew going into this week that many had come before me in this humble attempt to see and experience the truth of reality and of our existence by turning off all external stimulus for an extended period of time.

What I experienced from a full week of total silence was not torture or even discomfort but was the deepest rest that I ever remember experiencing… ever.  This profound rest allowed me to become intimate with life and who I am.  As I rested, my body gracefully organized itself. It seemed to come into alignment with the pulse of the natural world. For within my deep rest there was a symphony of healing, clearing and adjusting that took place without me “doing” a thing.

As I wrote in my last entry, rest is the greatest gift that we modern humans can offer ourselves. To give ourselves permission to rest for even an hour each day, to stop “doing” and to experience “being” could easily change the direction of our lives.

Last week during my retreat, every aspect of my body, mind, heart and soul was given the permission to slow down and even stop moving.  My days included a few hours of meditation and a few hours of listening to the inspiring truth-filled words of this wonderful teacher affectionately known as “Adya”.  I also spent time walking, running, practicing yoga, kayaking and sitting by the lake. I napped often, stared at the lotus flowers on the lilly pads and took savasana over and over again. I rested, rested and rested some more.  I rested so deeply that I felt every cell of my body sing in gratitude.

I return back into the world of activity to say that you don’t have to be on retreat to learn how to rest.  My time away definitely helped me to see how important it is to break from the race and to re-organize my systems. It reinforced what is possible for me and for you to do in our daily lives.  We can learn to rest, to break and to sit still more often.

The world didn’t stop because I took a week away in silence and the world won’t stop if you take a nap every now and then.  I would love to hear your thoughts about how you rest in your lives.

In peace, Cara

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