At the Spring Retreat

The experience of this retreat in general has been one of movement from my head into my body. Every exercise I did, I felt in my body and they have been extensions, acknowledgements of the continuing experience of my recent weekend. Whether the flow of consciousness or the structures in consciousness, they were experienced within my body, not as abstractions in my head, as is often the case. With my last partner, all the boundaries in me vanished and I became the flow itself. I could see the molecular structure of the air and feel myself receding. After each day, I was exhausted as the structures were revealed and then metabolized. When I went home Friday night, I was exhausted but I could not place myself physically. I heard about the tsunami in Santa Cruz and didn’t know where I was in relationship to Santa Cruz, only that I wasn’t home. It took me a long time to place myself in Berkeley.

The first day of the retreat, I saw a vision of myself in our first enquiry, wrapped in a blanket curled up at the feet of God. Then Friday night – the third day – I again thought I was merely tired but the fatigue was experienced as desperation. I had to get into bed. I had to go to sleep. What I felt was this intense pressure in my chest and heart area and I felt that my body couldn’t contain the pressure. It was overwhelming and I truly felt desperate. I went to bed.

Suddenly, I felt my abdomen contract, nearly rotate me inside/out. Then my head began shaking back and forth and my whole body began convulsing and shaking and jumping off the bed. All these movements were utterly outside of my control to either start or stop. Writhing is the word that comes to mind – in ecstasy, feeling a pain as exquisite as it was unbearable. Before this wild motion began, I began praying. I knew that without the help of the divine, I would not be able to prevail. The more fervently I prayed, the more intense the movements became. I would pray more fervently still; the experience would intensify. Fear came and went…and I saw that fear was akin to heresy and faithlessness:

How can I fear if I have total faith in the Beloved, in this Intelligence?

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