Re-entry and Splashdown

Well . . . what do I write about, having just returned from a week’s retreat at Crosby Hall with the Liverpool Stonewater Zen Sangha?

Zen monks in fast walking meditation . . . and low light!

Zen monks in fast walking meditation . . . and low light!

For that week the world changed quite utterly, both inside and outside my head.

The swallows returned to their nests in the old buildings, excitedly chattering, even though their energy levels, after flying in from sub-Saharan Africa, must be horrible depleted. And, back here at home, the chiffchaffs are back too, and singing from exactly the same trees as they did last year and the year before. Is this the same bird coming home, or three generations returning to their birth place?

Inside my head, meanwhile, the triteness of modern consumerism has been replaced by a manic calm that mildly amuses my wife.

I have been wrestling with my demons in long hours of meditation, and with my feelings of obstinate pride and petulance in everyday life.

The kitchen Buddha

The kitchen Buddha

These annual retreats leave me feeling as though I have had an internal shower and I am now in freshly-laundered clothes.

But the journey home in fast-moving traffic leaves me puzzled and bewildered. What on earth are all these people doing? Where are they going? Why are they so unhappy with where they are now that they have to risk death to get somewhere else?

I know it will be different in another week, and I will, no doubt, join in with this mad frenzy, but, for now I will just sit in the sun, take my dog to the silver river and drink my tea.

When I can, I will sit and think, with the tea at my side and a dog nuzzling into the crook of my arm. We will stare wordlessly at the world. We will not want to be anywhere else.

We call this, Yorkshire meditation.


About stevehobsonauthor

I am blind, and I hate it. It stinks. But life is still sweet. I have multiple sclerosis, and that stinks too, but life is still sweet. These are my musings.
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4 Responses to Re-entry and Splashdown

  1. Sarah Thwaites says:

    That post-retreat feeling is interesting isn’t it? Enjoy that internal shower feeling and hope it lasts as long as it can – Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another thought provoking and interesting observation. Enjoyed reading this.


  3. Janet Johnstone says:

    Internal shower Steve? Feel’s more like pulled through the ringer! Though fell asleep before finishing my second glass of wine. XxX


  4. stephen says:

    i love the freshly showered image! this is something that has long been on my to-do list. finding a nearby retreat center that can accommodate my wheelchair has proven a major challenge.


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