I’ve enjoyed an amazing two years of retirement. Life unfolds in its own way; its own time. And my life is unfolding beautifully here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This year (2016) I completed the Facilitator Training Program at Asheville Insight Meditation. The program, its teacher, and my classmates all helped me get to a deeper level of understanding of the dharma through teachings and especially through relationship.
My relationships in general have deepened and I’ve learned (or maybe relearned) the value of a discerning heart and trusting my own intuition when it comes to friendship. Whether its a family member or a friend, are the interactions toxic and if so, what is the loving way to proceed?
I’ve made financial decisions that are scarier to make when my income is a retirement pension and newly established small business. I just paid off my last credit card debt last week and barring any unforeseen emergencies, will enter 2017 debt free.
I’ve ignored my body and treated it unkindly as evidenced by the amount of weight I’m carrying. This body feels uncomfortable and many will attribute that to aging and yes, aging is a factor in how our bodies respond to misuse but I won’t blame my current state on the the impermanence of life.
As I watched and participated in the unfolding of 2016, I gratefully accepted opportunities that I knew were guiding me to a different way of life. I didn’t really know what the way was. I just said yes whenever challenges arose, and trusted I was on the right path; making the right decisions. I knew that I was being guided to something different, that required letting go of many things I held to be true.
A messenger said to me, “The winds of change have arrived on the wings of angels.”
Each day brings clarity to the way forward and I’ve decided to commit to deepening my (dharma) practice by way of sabbatical. There is probably a better word for what I’m doing since I’m not taking sabbatical from a job but I do feel I’m taking sabbatical from the world as I know it right now.
While I’m not fully disengaging…it’s not the time for a monastic life…my plan is to live a contemplative life which means to mostly disengage from a social life and spend my time in study and meditation. I’ve spent the last month disengaging from some of my responsibilities and social groups while researching local resources that will help structure my daily life and keep me on course. I am planning several retreats next year and will further study through online courses, retreats, and teachers.
Surrender and discipline are called upon.
My intention is to significantly reduce my time on social media and email. I’m not quite sure what my blog will look like. I had initially thought I wouldn’t blog but I might offer short, weekly posts to help keep me on track. I’m still offering sound massage and meditative concerts, although I am discontinuing my monthly concerts at hospice for the time being. And I’m currently on the AIM teaching schedule for the next six months.
While my online time will be much less, I am definitely accessible to my friends and family. I just might not respond as quickly as you are used to from me. I’m sure your correspondence will be a welcomed joy during this time so please don’t feel like you “shouldn’t bother me.” You are no bother to me.
There is more to share but for now this is enough.
With metta, Kate