Reflections from retreat with Steve Armstrong and Kamala Masters, June 2012

A wonderful moment from Kamala and Steve’s retreat this year occurred for me during a walking meditation, when I rounded a corner and saw a fellow yogi sitting cross-legged on the ground, scribbling into a notebook.

Until that moment I had been enjoying a quiet and spacious mind, a sweet bliss. But then very suddenly, triggered by the simple sight of a yogi jotting down meditative insights, the mind quickly filled into every corner with grasping and agitation. It was as if the yogi’s perceived mind state had suddenly flooded into mine. As a writer myself, I instantly recognized this intensely uncomfortable state. The obtrusive agenda to exploit samadhi for creative breakthroughs; the frenzy to capture every last flickering idea in writing because this could be the thought that finally frees me. 

Such grasping and suffering!

But in the next moment, indeed very much more quickly than it would have only a few summer retreats ago, came a very decisive letting go. An absolutely clear and refreshing compassion arose for myself and for my fellow yogi, who on that day was my great teacher — may we both be free of grasping to notions and ideas!

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