Come, come whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of living.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.
When you or I commit to self-inquiry work on an Enlightenment Intensive Retreat, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to release the illusion of separation. As we hold our intention for direct experience, the very structure of the EI container provides us with a disciplined technique which assists us in continually being present with whatever arises in the experiential field. How does this happen? When you sign up, the work begins! When you arrive, the stage has been set and the “force” is available to work with you!
I once had a thousand desires.
But in my one desire to know you,
all else melted away.
Any of us who are easily distracted in daily ordinary life are helped by the structure of a schedule and the elimination of distractions like phones, computers, media, and expectations of social niceties. We may have feelings and reactions to this life modification even while we are better able to focus our attention on our intention, gradually increasing our capacity to direct a laser-like beam of awareness on truth as it arises from the repeated taking of an instruction. The technique and instruction becomes a koan used like a pointer by the mind toward truth. It’s always pointing within where truth hides, even if it may eventually present itself everywhere. With this carefully designed structure, we have the time to move from mind chatter into silence. This sacred space of golden silence is the ground from which direct experience arises.
Silence is the language of god,
all else is a poor translation.
What other aspects of an EI Retreat offer Grace the opportunity to enter and the illusion of separation to be broken?
As we work together in our contemplations, we have the amazing gift of “another” sitting before us in a dyad, serving to receive our communications with the best of their ability to see us, hear us, get us. This gift of connection in a dyad with another is human to human and soul to soul. We work on being open. When open and transparent, we drop defenses to let everything show up and be as it is. This deep relating itself is an often missing aspect of modern life and very healing in itself. We consciously practice being present and have agreements which create safety and develop trust.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond
Another skill self-inquiry brings is that of practicing the flow of giving and receiving, of shifting roles or perspectives. We learn the difference in receiving another’s experience as a listening partner (without reacting or judging) and then letting go of that in order to find our own momentary experience as the light of awareness moves inward to our own personal experiential unfolding from which reporting or expression occurs. You are living in the question and engaging with what arises with curiosity as a gradual understanding arises that “life is FOR you, not against you.” This flow is practice in polishing the mirror so we can see ourselves and one another as we are, rather than through our projections. Being present for self/Self, being present for another. For those of us who were taught to care-take and make others happy, we learn to value our own experience! We increase communication skills in relating to others and ourselves.
When will you begin that long journey into yourself?
There is another great gift available to inquirers on an EI…support and encouragement. Somehow in life we often take on a belief that we must do this alone, that we don’t need help. There is a huge opportunity in this setting to learn that there is help available and to ASK FOR HELP. The success of twelve step programs, stories in the Bible, ancient teaching stories like the Bhagavad Gita- all speak to the power of asking for help and the miracle of receiving that help. Fortunately, Charles Berner created this brilliant environment for awakening and enlightenment to give participants the support and encouragement needed in order to get through individual barriers and break-through. I believe that one of the most important things we will ever learn in life is to ask for and to receive help, support, and encouragement when we hit barriers. When we can ask out teachers, angels, guides, guru, EI Master and staff for help, we are humbly showing that our willingness is great and our intention is pure. Often this additional energy is just what we need for exponential expansion of consciousness. Remember, we are all in this together! There is only one. The evolution of consciousness is a responsibility we take on individually that affects the whole.
Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers
that you have built against it.
The veil can be pierced. The illusion of separation can be broken. Whatever barriers and obstacles we are living with in daily life can be broken through with the holding of your intention, the use of the technique, the sacred space container of the EI, and the support of highly trained staff. What is missing? YOU!!! Showing up, participating! We need you: your light, your truth!
There are so many places to go, things to do, people to see. But come see what happens when you give yourself the gift of three full days and nights of contemplation and self-inquiry!
I love Rumi, whose elegance in expression far exceeds mine, and he co-authors this article to enhance you to come join us at our next Enlightenment Intensive Retreat!
There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?