Ram Dass is sitting at the bedside of a woman in her 60’s, dying from cancer. Their brief conversation holds keys not only for dying but for living.
Ram Dass explains . . . “When we were alone in the room, she whispered, ‘Can you hurry this thing up? I’m so bored!’ Her comment took me by surprise; although many sick people are often bored, it is not usually their number-one complaint. I reflected a moment, then answered her. ‘You’re probably bored because you are so busy dying all the time. Couldn’t you die, say, ten minutes an hour and do something else the rest of the time?’ The lady got my drift and smiled. Then we did a meditation together, in which we listened to all the sounds around us—the children playing in the yard, the clock on the mantel, the planes overhead—and felt the breezes on our faces and the softness of the light reflecting through the window.
“By coming into the present moment together, the drama of dying faded; suddenly, we were simply alive, two Souls resting together without roles or definition. Time seemed to stop and when we finally spoke again, she told me that I could go. This lovely lady died peacefully a few hours later.”
How beautiful is that?
And how often do we stop long enough to notice what this moment—this very moment—offers? Hopefully, we don’t wait until the end of our lives to begin listening to the subtle sounds surrounding us, to feel the breezes, and to notice the light and colors and beauty around us? If we are boring ourselves, then we are not paying attention.
It is so easy to be numbed to and lost in our ordinary lives, honed in on our computers and cell phones. For me, it takes intention and sometimes the time away from my life to so profoundly reconnect with what this moment is offering.
Take some time away
Taking time away from our busy lives is one of the most valuable gifts we can give ourselves. In my own life, and having been in healing professions for the past thirty years, time and again I see how valuable it is for all of us to step back, take a break, and gain a fresh perspective on our lives.
Those of you that have joined us on a retreat know that we spend a lot of time learning to connect with the simple thrill of being alive. When at Playa Viva, our winter retreat, we practice listening to the ocean, feeling the sea breezes, watching the sunrises and sunsets and tasting the exceptional cuisine.
We watch the sweetness of baby turtles, every morning, making their way across the beach to the rest of their lives every morning, and experience our connectedness to the other people with us on retreat while we do so.
What else do we do on retreat? We learn how to be more conscious in our speech, our actions, and in our relationships. Many-a-relationship has been saved on these retreats. We weren’t taught in our culture how to have healthy relationships. At our Live Conscious retreats, this is some of what we learn.
Do you want to be living your life and your relationships from a unique new level of consciousness? Take yourself on retreat, it could be our eye-opening, soul-full-filling week in February on a remote, private beach, or some other workshop or retreat that captures your attention. We believe that such retreats are one way to accelerate the process of personal growth and development.
Let the drama or the boredom of your life fade while practicing ways to be more awake and alive—20 souls resting/playing together without roles or definition, letting time stop long enough to notice what it truly means to “Be Here Now.”