Impressions from my time on retreat in Chapala Mexico by Pete

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 2 comments

Impressions from my time on retreat in Chapala Mexico by Pete

If I am truthful I would have to say that there have been significant periods during my time here on retreat in Chapala when I wondered why on Earth I came. After twenty years of studying this course you might think I would’ve gotten past projecting so much ridiculous nonsense on the people around me. And on the universe. These phases have been accompanied by a sense of deeply futility which comes of running headlong and with near full commitment in the direction opposite to that which I consider the sole direction I want to go in my life. Yet the thing that I am slowly coming to trust is that even though I don’t seem to be able to avoid getting myself into mistrust, confusion and disorientation; if I can just dredge up a little trust and willingness I can be shown a way out.

So many things have come and gone through my mind on this retreat, and left me feeling lighter than before. Most of them I could not even tell you what they were. But there does seem to be a central theme: Give a little willingness, and intense fear can flip over to ease and lightness in an instant.

There is one thing in particular that is up in my mind at this moment and I am so grateful to at least have had the chance to see it – I have an intense addiction to hiding. Not a surprise to those who know me. And actually not a surprise to me either. But such a surprise to see it and watch it in action. To experience it from the inside – this enclosing sphere of almost-pure unwillingness. To simultaneously experience this decision made with such apparently intense conviction that this is me and never to change: Walled off and isolated; alongside the clear comprehension that such a decision is self inflicted, absurd and needless. Yet like someone who has accidentally wrapped their hand around a live electrical wire I have nonetheless felt gripped – spasmodically held by this self perception. Horrified at finding myself yet again in such a place, but unable to let go. Even to take the smallest step towards another person. Not a sideways glance or a nod. Terrified to let even the slightest sign of distress show on my face.

Yet the answer has been so ridiculously simple: Hold onto the smallest scrap of willingness even from inside all this. To wait patiently as long as it takes for my brother or sister to arrive. And allow myself to accept the help in whatever form it comes. Even in the simplest of ways. And then the situation flip flops and it is all suddenly so easy again that all I can do is laugh that I got suckered into taking all that shit so seriously yet again.

A major impediment – as it always is – has been the desire for specialness. I came here with a willingness to release this, but also with the recognition within myself that this was what I thought I wanted. I still do I suppose, but there is also a part of me that recognises with a new and greater clarity that if I look beyond all the distortions – the desire for specialness from others, the aversion to others wanting specialness from me, the wanting to have; the stone wall palm-in the-face experience when the object of my wanting seems to freeze – even when I thought I’d been concealing my
wanting quite well – and the reflexive desire to turn away real hard if I should perceive any such freezing or aversion. If I can relax, somewhere in the space between the push and the pull, feel my feelings, and look beyond all that – what I always wanted is still there. The looking beyond the distortions actually leaves what I wanted unchanged – pure and freely expressible love. Finally it seems like love might actually be accessible. Like looking through the heat waves on a beach – I just have to relax and not let these distortions confuse me about that which is actually clear and obvious. When I feel the distortions: to know – actually it’s simpler than this. Relax. ALL I want is to connect and it’s ok if I fail to reach the goal of specialness. Just cave into being a simple person expressing something simple. A wide open smile. Just give it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The other major category of projection in my mind on this retreat has been around apparent hierarchy, and the sense of separation it seems to bring up in me. And the same response seems to be working for that too. Relax, cave in and just give it. I got myself into such desperation over this to the point where I was basically driven to find willingness just to forgive in spite of what I perceived as the apparent form. The answer is beyond form and form is no โ€œone’sโ€ concern at all seems to be the message.

The insights that I have had on this retreat have come from so many directions – each persons words or each happening contributing like an instrument in an orchestra to make some particular lesson come clearer and clearer and brighter and brighter for me.

It has been such a clear demonstration that we and our understandings and our minds are so cloud like in the way that they relate and make exchange that it’s meaningless to make any fixed decision about who is teacher and who is student. Or in which direction the teacher student dynamic is flowing in truth in any given instant. Or to assume that the apparent form is the actual truth of it.

If I want to learn as fast as I can, I have to be desperate to hear the truth, and humble enough to recognise and acknowledge the source. To acknowledge that my learning is FULLY interdependent with ALL the minds around me. That there is no one too simple or too sophisticated; too abstract or too logical – no one too anything – on whom I am not fully dependant for the help that I need if I am going to progress.

This has been such a challenging retreat. The experience has been a bit like being trapped under the water, and then being pulled up real fast into light warm tranquil sunshine with little birds chirping softly – before going under again. I am so glad that I came. Thank you so much all my brothers and sisters. I hope to see some of you again soon. <3


  1. thankyou so much for your real sharing – it gave me a big aha’a about myself and hiding – I don’t hide and feel isolated – I hide and feel ecstatic (specialness alone?) but – I do hide !. Your blog has started me thinking about this ‘secret wall’ I call my ‘cave’.

  2. I love this post Pete! So honest and perfectly put. I can’t believe I only read it now!

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