Being Too Busy. What Does It Really Mean?

Buddhists say that being perpetually busy is a way to flee from healing that naturally takes place in silence and stillness.

Healing occurs when the mind becomes still. Or stops. Often, it requires a shocking life event to interrupt our human pattern of accomplishing goals and checking things off the to-do list, of being swept up in striving or seeking.

Buddhists refer to seeking as the cycle of noticing a desire and the tension around that desire, fulfilling the desire, and receiving temporary relief. But when the relief gradually subsides, along comes the next tension-filled desire, and so on.

Seeking is a perpetual cycle arising from the belief that more is better and that achieving will save us– that striving and accomplishing will bring ultimate peace and happiness.

SIT. WALK. WORK.

This past weekend I attended a Renunciation Silent Meditation Retreat at Heartwood Refuge and Retreat Center in Hendersonville, NC. The Heartwood Retreat Center is tucked in a small pocket of Hendersonville, and even though it’s twelve minutes from my door, I had no idea it existed.

The retreat centered around letting go of looking to the outer world to resolve inner desperation. To bring awareness to the fervent hope that grasping for success or things, for instance, will bring lasting peace, security and happiness.

Heartwood is a lovely place, and includes a campus with a historic thirty room Victorian era mansion, plus sixty adjoining cabins. They also have conference/meditation halls and a complete kitchen.

(I LOVED) NOT SPEAKING.

After we met staff and participants and basic instructions were given, the retreat went silent.

Being silent meant letting go of any form of unnecessary communication. No direct eye contact, no smiling. No emailing or Facebooking. No chatting. It meant letting go of time.

Silence meant going within and being mindful of one’s experience in the simplicity of stillness.

WHAT DID WE DO?

During the silence, we did sitting, walking and working meditations.  Bell ringing was a participant job for many of us, so we knew when to move on to the next activity.

During working meditations, necessary words were allowed between staff and participants to  communicate jobs that needed to be done. At one point in the weekend, there was also a talk by the leader of the Retreat. She spoke, we listened.

Being silent was so, so, so what I needed.

WHEN SPEAKING STOPS, WHAT COMES TO THE SURFACE?

What does one notice in the silence?

Sound. The beating heart. Breath. How walking feels in the legs or bottom of feet. Temperature. Wind. Rain. Kindness. Taste.

I noticed very small things, such as the moment when the natural inclination to connect with the eyes of another person is replaced with averting the eyes. It’s a moment of conscious choice.

I noticed moments of (wordless) receiving. For the first working meditation on Saturday morning, I arrived and found Satima, the executive director of Heartwood. I stood in front of her. She paused and said, “You’re standing here because…?”

And I said simply, “Work.”

There was a moment, a fraction of a second, when she met (with her heart) my offer to work. Instead of connecting through words, she connected with me through her heart and received my offer.

(That moment for me was worth the whole weekend. When I’m busy, I forget that moment of receiving someone. It tends to slide by fast.)

Satima nodded and gave me to another person, who took me to the garden, where I helped clear beds for new planting.

SALT, PEPPER AND LOVE.

On Sunday for my work meditation, Satima led me to the kitchen and indicated I was to make a paper cone with parchment paper and fill the salt and pepper shakers. She spoke very few words.

I said nothing.

What was there in those moments with Satima was simple. There was salt, pepper and love. Nothing more.

Eric and I used to have that — we had salt, pepper and love. We used to enjoy the salt and pepper (physical part) of our relationship — talking, touching, seeing each other.

Now, in our new relationship since he passed, there’s no salt and pepper. We have only love. My love for him now is the most love I’ve ever felt and it has opened my heart.

This new love has nothing riding on it, nothing with it, nothing tagging along. There is nothing to complicate it. There are no distractions, no problems. It’s only love, nothing but love.

Eric taught me that death (at least offers to) teach what pure love is. It is up to me to remember that love is what all my relationships are made of.

And finally, with a bow and prayer hands, Buddhists say only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

 

A little more about Heartwood…

Heartwood’s mission is to be a living container for inquiry and cultivation of ancient and contemporary Buddhist thought, while promoting interfaith and multi-lineage dialogue.

You can find out more here http://www.heartwoodrefuge.org/

By the way, there’s also a (free) phone meditation app called Insight Timer. Sitting in stillness with eyes closed for as little as five to fifteen minutes a day makes a difference.

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Holly SIMMS

    |

    Terri, it has been essential for me to dwell in peace and quiet-silence all my life.i simply can’t function without a very healthy dose of it daily. I’ve been known to withdraw from gatherings for a while in order to be silent-to listen to my heart beat, to listen to my breath. Only then can I return to the busyness and sound of people talking, laughing, and interacting. It’s easy and natural for me to go for days without speaking to a single soul. Protecting my silence is such a huge part of what I need to do in order to be me. It is rest and restoration. I’m so glad that your period of silence was fulfilling and insightful for you.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

      |

      Thank you for what you said. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say. Love, Terri

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Keldwyn

    |

    Terri, I see your blog with an amazing photo or art cover in a BOOK! You are amazing. This is so beautifully written, my Quaker, wannabe Buddist heart nearly burst with gratitude. I just finished an Oprah Chopra free “Shedding the Weight” meditation and the lucky camper who gets to comment first on your blog! I love you and Eric so tenderly and fully
    OX
    Keldwyn

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

      |

      Keldwyn, yes, you’re right on track. I have several books happening this way right now… love, Terri

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Barbara Norris

    |

    Thank you, Terri, for writing this and sharing it. I don’t think I could exist without silence, and so often words get in the way of communication. This post touched me.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

      |

      Thank you, Barbara! I’m glad this post touched you. I think I’m only beginning to understand that silence is golden. Love, Terri

      Reply

Leave a comment

Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

Read more

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Read more

Get in touch

Terri Crosby

Talk to me