One Meal Every 48 Hours, That’s It! 🍽

Daily Motivation 197

Insight 2: Compassion 

I am totally inspired
This retreat is like my yearly service
An MOT for the soul

And although I will be mentioning it A LOT over the next days, weeks and months please don’t worry, QS is not about to become a Buddhist programme! I have been a Buddhist for 11 years along with teaching yoga for 16 (yikes makes me feel so old!) and have many other influences also. I want to make it clear that QS welcomes everyone; all faiths and none.

Let me tell you a little about this crazy yet amazing practice I’ve just done.
It works in ‘pairs’
Day one = lunch and drinks throughout the day
Day two = silence, no food, no water, not even brushing your teeth 

So the minimum that anyone does is one pair (two days)
Back in 2008 when I first did this retreat I did ‘one pair’ only
And I literally ran for the hills, and didn’t return to it for three years (I did have two years of sickness/operations and a bankruptcy in that time), yet there was something that nudged me back. This practice kept whispering in my ear and I finally relented and did ‘three pairs’ in 2011.
Then I was hooked
I got it this time

I fell in love with ‘Chenrezig’ who is the deity of compassion in Tibetan Buddhism. A deity is not separate from us, not a god, rather an expression of our own mind.

“Visualising a deity in meditation is a very powerful way of learning to rest in our primordial nature. The deity is an expression of our own inner purity. The deepest essence of our mind is totally pure, without any suffering. No matter what happens to us, no matter how much confusion and suffering we experience, it doesn’t affect our pure nature, which is continuous and changeless, and is called the ‘Buddha Nature.’”
Explanation notes for participants
So you get to know Chenrezig really well each day in the 8 hours of practice which involves chanting, visualisation, mantras and meditation. In fact part of the ritual is to visualise yourself as him, so that YOU can begin to generate more compassion for yourself and others. And it works, for back in 2008 I found the whole subject of self-love a bit weird and it made me really uncomfortable. But now I know it is what makes the world go round, and live by honouring self-love for when the vessel is full, there is enough to share with the whole world. And this is exactly the sentiment of this retreat and I’d like to share with you a short translated excerpt from the end of the text which summarises the intention of this practice and how I live my life; in service:

“By keeping to this practice the happiness of all sentient beings increases. From this fast difficulties of the body arise, but by clearly concentrating on the voidness of the deity’s body, the bodily defilements of I and all others becomes purified”
Every action has a reaction
Everything that we think
Everything that we say
Everything that we do
It all matters

So can we become super mindful of what we do, say and think?
Can we meditate more so that our minds can ‘concentrate on the voidness’ and understand this concept?
The reason for fasting and silence in this practice is to make the mind sharp and meditation easier, and I can say that the fasting/silent days are very different to eating/speaking ones. I had some amazing experiences on fasting/silent days which I couldn’t tell anyone about, and do you know what my frustration in that soon turned into inward contemplation, and in the end I realised these amazing insights were coming as GIFTS just for ME!

Can we become more compassionate?
Can we see that each of us is searching for happiness
No one wants to be unhappy
Yet sometimes people hurt us
BUT
They are doing what they think is best at the time with the information that they have
Our brains are all set up differently, with different neural networks giving unique-to-you thoughts; no two people thinking the same way. So the next time your partner/child/friend/colleague upsets you THEY WERE ONLY DOING WHAT WAS BEST FOR THEM IN THAT MOMENT

Can you give them compassion?
Can you see it their way?
Can you witness their pain that they may be acting from?
Can you see beyond their words?
Into their soul, into their heart?

For this is what we are dealing with here
Not addiction to substances really
We are going UNDERNEATH that
To the root
For when there is self-love there cannot be addiction to something that harms you; you simply could not do that to yourself any longer.
And maybe you call that place ‘Buddha Nature’, maybe ‘God’, or perhaps you feel more comfortable with the word ‘Soul’. In my eyes it doesn’t matter; we are talking about one and the same thing; the very essence of who we are, of consciousness.

I will end this blog as I did yesterdays; sharing out my bliss ✨✨
I am not now in this world for myself (my hedonistic days 💃 were 1998-2006 = long gone!)
The only reason I do the Chenrezig retreat each year is to learn how to share the bliss more. Oh and I did ‘four pairs’ this year which seems to be where I have averaged out to now; the full eight was too much for me back in 2014!

How was the fasting?
Easy really when you know when your next meal is going to be (even if that is 48 hours later); so many DON’T know when that will be and I dedicated my practice to them, as well as to you, on many occasions. And in all honesty it was the drinking that was hardest, no water for 35 hours is tough and the first cup of tea to break the fast is pure joy and in that moment I feel gratitude like nothing else. This retreat is hardcore and only for those who have taken refuge in Buddhism and have had specific training to do this, plus we are all in it together; holding the energy for each other to get through this intense difficulty = please don’t try this at home!   
And the silence?
Ah I decided to do EXTRA silence this time, over and above what was required and I will tell you about my 6 days silent tomorrow….

Member Quote Of The Day:

In this section you will read something that has been said by one of the Quantum Sobriety Online Programme members over on the very lively private forum:

“Lovely to have you back   
“Welcome back. Wow – can really reel your energy! X”

“Lovely to have you back Jo and to feel your bliss across the quantum. I’ve been great thanks – really good. Hit a milestone while you were way (paid off the retreat – there is a post somewhere below) but the amazing thing is I did trust and jump (albeit not all the way at first) and it’s brilliant – I’m so happy. I can totally relate to this post but the intensity of your energy has really touched me and fanned my inner flame. Much love xx”

“Welcome back 😀 Feeling the bliss, thank you. I have been very up and down but turned a corner regarding taking charge of my own feelings and bouncing back to my hard-won bliss every time outside circumstance presents a non-blissful moment.”

“Off on my first sober holiday today and gone from 100mg to 25mg on my meds.
My new word is fabulous!
Missed you lots and so pleased your happy and well xx”

A few comments from the online community yesterday

 

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