Last night I looked at the almost full moon through a telescope. There were some light clouds in front of it, but it didn’t matter, the illumination was so intense. I was looking at this giant ball of light up close and it was thrilling to have such an intimate contact with something that is typically so far away. Kind of like those pesky emotions that are typically located too far away from the surface for me to actually feel a lot of the time. When they are able to surface and be seen up close in personal, it can be both thrilling and frightening at the same time.
It’s a bit disorienting being in paradise with the knowledge that back home sweeping changes are happening. It helps to remember that even here in this healing Caribbean context of variables of blue,
deep flowing breezes, salt water infused air with humidity that actually feels good, blazing sun, easy warm temperatures, episodic rains, and slowed down everything, that I am still in the United States. I am still curiously anchored in the reality that life may be a lot different moving forward.
During this retreat we practice meditation and yoga together every morning. We are encouraged to consider ‘radical non-interference’ to any feeling or thought that might come up during these practices. Not radical acceptance or even radical non-resistance, both of which carry a kind of willfulness to make something happen. It’s not the encouragement to accept something that we might not be ready to accept, but rather an invitation to experience the full range of feeling that is there without interfering, deflecting or trying to change the feeling. This practice creates space for a more considered response. My anger felt at being told, rhetorically and politically by those on the other side of how I voted, to stop whining and get over the disappointment, has room to breathe without being judged. My deep sadness that emerges from a human impulse to want peace can emerge and be expressed in a flow of silent tears without being judged. I pray and watch for the release of any sensation that feels like suffering, both inside of me and in the world I am also part of. Like the storms that can co-exist with the sea and sun,
I imagine how the storms between us human beings can begin to co-exist without one having to dominate another.
Radical non-interference of what is. It is simple and brilliant and incredibly hard to maintain.
I am so conditioned to want to push for resolution and for what I believe is right that it took two days for me to even remember this expression as it was presented during our first meditation together. We are a group of twenty-five from five different states, from different traditions and different ways, all sharing this important teaching. In the afternoons while we are hiking or snorkeling or swimming or napping in the breeze, I try to feel radical non-interference here as well, to feel the sheer pleasure of exposing myself to the elemental quality of a place defined by water and flow meeting earth so prominently. No need for radical non-interference here where the vastness of the ocean simply always is.
Today is an uncharacteristically gray day here. It’s amazing how the landscape of the ocean changes with each cloud that passes.
I take heart in the light that still brilliantly presents itself beyond. It is a reminder of light I can focus on in the darkness of anything that surfaces.