2008 Retreat Notes

In the Harmony chapter of my book Time for Awakening, I refer to notes I took from a phone call with Daniel Ingram. These notes helped me integrate and adjust to a profound way of being while I relaxed with the spacious views of the Andaman Sea in Langkawi, Malaysia.

  • Focus more on the vibrations, and the width or narrowness of attention, spatial qualities. I felt this was very helpful and really appreciated this advice.
  • Around decisions, wait until I get home and see what makes sense. I couldn’t help but wonder about several things, and some of the reflecting I was doing was harmonizing the ultimate understanding with conventional life.
  • Stay away from samatha, or concentration practices until I have mastered this level of awareness. I wasn’t sure how to control this, it happened so fast and often, just as I was falling asleep or before waking. I was into out-of-body experiences and other deep experiences. I knew I needed more study and support.
  • Cut grooves in the practice, power down and shift through the cycles by resonating with them—with each little tiny flickering sensation. This I could do, and was doing to the best of my ability at the time. And, there were times to slow down and take it easier to adjust.
  • Avoid all content-driven discussions, as much as possible. I’m not very good at this. I like to share and get acquainted with people’s stories. But, being primarily alone, it was highly reduced. It was so that I don’t get pulled back into believing everything and solidifying a sense of self which was now quite painful.
  • If there is resistance or tension, just resonate with the sensations/vibrations of that tension, notice the vibrational quality of it. Yes, I was doing this. It is easy to write about, but it is incredibly hard to do because there was a force inside that wants to pull away from this.
  • Sit twice a day, and try to see how fast I can go through a cycle until I can cycle in one hour. This felt fun. I found the shift to be quite distinct and I didn’t see how I could shift through an entire cycle in only one hour. I was happy for a half a day at best.
  • When in re-observation: shut up, handcuff myself to a chair, and be the vibrations. Just work through it and with it, even the resistance to it. Good advice. I was doing this. Massages and being in water were very helpful because I was often unaware of how much tension I carried in my body when going through a tough state. Drinking extra water was also helpful. Water will move earth and put out fire.
  • Check with American yogis to see which teachers would be most congruent to work with back at home. This was going to be tough. I didn’t know anyone who I could talk with openly, who I felt knew my practice and could compassionately understand the context of my life for integration.
  • Be an example to others who will be looking to see if it was worth it for them to support my trip to Malaysia. I was doing the best I could with this. I never wanted to be a burden to anyone. I often let others know how much I appreciated them.
  • Check in again in a few weeks. Nice of him to mention it, but unlikely Daniel would find time being that he did this work on the side, fitting it into an overly full schedule.

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Constance’s gentle and nurturing manner focuses on getting to the heart of the matter in the present moment and trusting the process.