...Rozen famous for its misty mountains, Sekko for its water." (Zen Koan)
Me jacking my life in at home and heading off to some new places is more about complete focus on my practice, than the travelling. To be quite honest, I'm a terrible traveller...! I prefer the getting there bit about travelling, rather than the journey itself, which in itself, speaks loads about how I live my life. My first flight out of the UK didn't go smoothly given a Portuguese general strike and my flight being delayed by 3 hours which meant a missed transfer and an un expected night in a hostel in Lisboa. This was meant to happen though, right? Out the comfort zone and all that. I got to the retreat a day late, no biggie. It's all practice baby!
So the travelling bit, it's a journey, but with no end in sight. The purpose is to keep up the practice forever, my ashtanga practice, my sitting practice, nothing to attain. Shunryu Suzuki says that people think it must be wonderful to see the famous range of mountains covered by mists and the water said to cover all the earth, but if you go there you will just see water and mountains. Nothing special. And that's what it is like here at the retreat, I've been here before, seen the mountains, swam in the river. There is no gaining to be had out of the experience, I am just doing something and trying to do it well. And the karma yoga, just doing it, helping out, is quite wonderful, despite working in 40 degrees of heat, swimming in sweat, flies and mosquitos! But the letting go of the people you meet and get to know a tiny bit I'm finding difficult, they leave a little imprint on you, a samskara if you like, which you need to let go in order to let the new people in...another lesson in non attachment I guess!!
So I'm into my second week now and if I'm honest feeling melancholy. Home calls already, but I know it will. There is also No ashtanga! :( But I just need to carry on, embrace this new week, embrace 'womb' yoga (this weeks retreat!!!), eat when I'm eating, sit when I'm sitting and try and express my Buddha nature!
All quite hard when all I want to do is have a glass of wine and watch Wimbledon! ;)