I received an email for a one day retreat in December; yoga, meditation and didgeridoo healing. Each one equally delicious, together they presented a buffet of delights for me to enjoy. I had one issue; my commitment to completing the first draft of my manuscript. How could I retreat while I was supposed to be writing? I made myself a deal - if I completed the manuscript, I could attend the retreat.
I booked my space and put my writer's cap on. 11:15pm, the night before the retreat, sitting cross-legged atop my kitchen island, I typed the words The End.
The next morning I sank into the warmth of the retreat space as the small group prepared their places with yoga mats, cushions and blankets, and Edysha Ee prepared to guide us through morning meditation.
Eyes closed, I was led through a deep swan dive into a depth of rest I had yet to experience. Edysha's soft voice offered intentional cues which coaxed my mind and body into a complete state of ease.
Within the first few moments I acknowledged an awareness of just how tired my mind was from the years of my regular meditation practice. A lover of kriya, mantra, visualization and chant, I often employed one or more in my daily practice. In the space of rest, as my mind came to not only settle, but cease, I knew my regular meditation practice as yet a further extension of seeking, an attempt to gain something through meditation.
What my regular practice lacked was the space to allow complete surrender with no agenda and no attachment to outcome. A letting-go more complete than any I had known until that morning with Edysha.
In a state of deep rest, of no-thing, I handed myself over to an innate higher wisdom, my own inner guru, higher self, inner pharmacy, ultimate intelligence. I let go of control, of conditioning, of the reigns and expected nothing.
Quite a process; releasing myself to myself. Surrendering my mind and body to inner wisdom. Trusting my higher wisdom to restore balance, health and optimal functioning, my natural state once I got out of the way.
Deep rest must happen in order to hand the reigns over to higher self. All the times I believed I surrendered in meditation, in yoga, in sacred practice, I saw the flaw once I felt the deep state of rest. I made an effort to surrender, and in that effort I continued to control and to drive. With Edysha's words natural surrender simply happened. It was a stopping but not stopping, as that, too, would be driving.
I realized how tired I was from focusing diligently and intently for so long. Many years of disciplined practice now required rest to further the meditative and manifestive process.
All the work over the past few years; planting seeds, nourishing and cultivating new crops, needed space and time for the soil to rest, to recuperate and restore, replenishing the rich nutrients to further the growth of new seeds, new plants, ideas, intentions, creativity.
Winter is the time for a deep resting of body and mind. Allowing a deepening of the connection with source self. Allowing a new to emerge, a crop, perhaps not yet conceived or imagined.
During the meditation, I received expansion of the concept of rest, that when struggle comes in a day, in life, to rest and trust a higher wisdom that resides within, the natural order of the rhythms of life, to attend to the details and restore balance.
It is similar to remembering a name or detail. Sometimes it seems on the tip of your tongue but you can't retrieve it no matter how hard you try. In fact, the harder you try, the more elusive it becomes. Yet once you move on and forget about it, allowing the mind to rest and do what it does naturally, the name suddenly appears moments later.
Or how an hour in the gym, walking outside or spent in yoga, allows creative solutions to emerge and feeds new ideas. Edysha continued the practice of rest as she guided us in yoga asanas, reminding us to drop out of mind. As my mind rested, my body came to life, not from a place of increased effort but from a natural spring that seemed to feed it.
The 16 hours I spend awake in a typical day is filled with mind and intent and details and planning. If I remember even 30 second periods of deep rest during times of struggle or strain in my day, added to my daily meditation practice, the mind still winds nearly 15 hours each day. No wonder I savoured the morning of rest with Edysha. Her 1 hour meditation felt like 15 minutes to me.
Allowing the mind to settle, in meditation or any time during the day, particularly when struggle or strain emerges, with no expectations of outcome, restores natural balance. Simply allow the mind to rest and the body to follow. And in that space you lean on your higher self, allowing nutrient-rich soil to replenish. Truly getting out of your own way and restoring balance, naturally.
Edysha Ee lives and shares her gifts in Vancouver, BC.