Many years ago I attended a retreat with a large group of people. It was at this special place, away from life’s daily grind, where we could gather to practise the work of Belsebuub.
As there were many of us there, we all split up into different groups to do different spiritual practices.
The practice group I stayed with was going for a walk in nature, with the goal to simply explore and learn more about what is awareness.
I was still trying to find my bearings and learn exactly what awareness was about at the time. Leading up to this point, nothing seemed to gel or make sense, and I even had thoughts like ‘what am I doing here?‘ and ‘am I wasting my time being here?‘
The walk was beginning to feel like the others days prior — full of thoughts and a swirl of heavy emotions and I couldn’t enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounded me.
I couldn’t get to any silence or inner peace, as hard as I tried. It was the type of practice that you just wanted to come to an end. Not really appreciating what it means to ask internally for help, this made my time more of a challenge due to my moods.
Halfway on this walk we each had the opportunity to give feedback, to let others know how we were going, to discuss if we were noticing anything different, if we had any insights to share. To my surprise, I found a positive boost when I heard one person explain to another individual that ‘it’s just a walk, nothing to do with the mind or your emotions, it’s just a walk — nothing more or less‘.
These words clicked into gear a brand new understanding for me about what awareness is. It was like I had really needed to hear this simple statement. And from this new understanding, I recall feeling a lighter sense of being, where I had renewed energy for the spiritual work.
The walk from this point forward was completely different and it felt rewarding as I felt more in tune with my body, like I had a different step in my stride, and a newer appreciation of what awareness is, helping me find a new way of being.
The remaining time at the retreat took on a new light, and I was able to re-focus my attention toward what had brought me to this place, the spiritual over the mundane, by being more aware from moment to moment.
I was shown and given something special, and to this day, I still recall this experience as it has had a significant impact on my life.
That’s really awesome, Sofios. Amazing how profound of an impact just a “simple” insight can be. I’m really glad you managed to turn the practice around and get more out of it. Boy, I’m sure craving an awareness walk right now!
It’s amazing that something like that gave you the power to turn things around Sofios. It actually sounds quite mystical in a way and reminds me of Olga’s experience here (although they’re two different experiences of course.)
But I know how possible it is to be caught in our own mind and the quagmire of the subconscious emotions. Then something like trying to be aware can seem not so appealing or useful at all. Yet when we make the effort to break through, only then can we ‘see’ it’s value and beauty. And be so happy we decided to make the effort. 🙂
I find that it’s so easy for our secondary goals in life, and the dealings with the practical things in life as well, to subtly take our focus. Before we know it we can lose sight of the most important thing which is: awareness, self-observation and that connection to reality. I find that this process happens again and again, so then too I need to remind myself to bring myself back too again and again.
Thanks Sofios from sharing the simple statement. I also find it helpful to get a ‘mundane’ perspective when I have to do things that I don’t want to do. When I remember that it’s just a small task, or it’s just a few hours of work, I can tackle the situation with a much lighter heart. It works even for bigger tasks, because even they seem small when I can see the bigger picture of life.
Thanks Sofios. I remembered this article the other day when I was starting off on an awareness walk, and my mind just wouldn’t let go of chatter. “It’s just a walk – nothing more, nothing less.” After recalling this I felt a little bit like a child, off on an adventure. 🙂
Thanks Ella, they are simple words but have had a big impact on my attitude towards doing things.
Your experience of overhearing someone saying something that has an important impact on your current work and understanding is very familiar to me. I can recall so many instances of hearing something at the right time and because of that my current work or understanding would take another turn for the better. I have reflected a lot on this and realised that that is another way the divine is trying to teach us – and I often think of those times when I don’t hear anything like that – I either don’t hear it or I am not able to make a connection to my current life from what I hear or see for example.
Thanks for sharing!
Hi Sofios, thanks for sharing this experience. It’s interesting how that simple but timely remark was exactly what you needed in order to get a new perspective and make the most out of the retreat time.
I’d like to apply that in my walk tomorrow!
Very interesting Sofios, thank you for sharing. I find it amazing how we need to hear different things at different times, and even how different things may have different importance to different people. It is great that you’ve got to hear exactly what you needed at that moment for the awareness and even the appreciation of being at the retreat to really kick in. The mind and emotions can really take us away from the spiritual, can’t they?
That’s great you were able to gain a new understanding and appreciation of the simple practice of awareness Sofios. Being aware in nature is one of my favourite practices – it’s so simple, yet it can bring a new level of clarity, once the cloud of thoughts is removed. I’ve found this clarity can continue to give a boost when going back into a more mundane environment, as it gives a solid grounding in the present moment.