Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Great Pilgrimage



I felt in need of a great pilgrimage
So I sat still for three days
And God came to me
~Kabir

This poem, graciously sent to me by Linda Lee at Dangerous Linda, has been calling to me. As I wrote before, this year has been evolving into a time of personal retreat, not in any formal sense, but in a “tapping of the heart” sort of way.

As the quiet of an empty nest fills my home, as I spend more time in morning meditation, as I make more effort in my practice of martial arts, there is a growing awareness of the busyness of my mind.

My mind cavorts like kittens high on catnip. It gorges on feasts of thoughts. I am ready, I think, for a “fasting of the mind.”

According to Chuang Tsu in Inner Chapters, Confucius said:

Do not listen with your ears but with your mind. Do not listen with your mind but with your vital energy. Ears can only hear, mind can only think, but vital energy is empty, receptive to all things. Tao abides in emptiness. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind.

It’s no accident, I think, that my word of the year this year is Wait. Although it came as a surprise, this unassuming little word is turning out to be one of my best teachers and guides. I have a longing now to heed it, to sit still and pay attention.

To that end, I’m going to take a break from new blog posts for the month of June. I’ve been blogging since February 2010, with no breaks longer than a few days at the cabin, so this will be a new experience for me. I admit to a little nervousness, but mostly I’m excited to see what will unfold.

I’m not unplugging entirely. I will continue my short “Living in Your Happy Place Every Day” posts on my 10 Steps Facebook page. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you will visit and “like” it. Also, if you want to contact me, I will be available through Facebook, and email at galenpearl@gmail.com.

Have you ever taken a break from blogging? How was that experience for you? I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments.

Wishing all y’all a blessed month full of delight.

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth
The named is the mother of ten thousand things
Ever desireless one can see the mystery
Ever desiring one can see the manifestations
~Tao Te Ching

related posts: Step Away from the Thought; A Warrior of Waiting

58 comments:

  1. Galen, wishing you peace and clarity during your time away. I'm sure that life will speak to you as you wait in silence.

    I have been away from blogging for some time now. I will know when to step back in. Meanwhile I too am waiting and listening.

    Great wishes for fulfillment,
    Leah

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    1. Leah, Thank you for the good wishes. Glad to be in your company while we wait and listen.

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  2. Dear Galen,

    I'm so very excited for you! Any kind of major shift like this, embarked upon consciously, is a jumping off point for true revelation.

    For myself, I am planning to have my electric/gas turned off in my home in June. I'm looking forward to my own thoreau-esk adventure ala walden pond.

    Holding you in my heart and looking forward to meeting you on the other side! XOXOXOX

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    1. Linda, You are ready for an adventure! When I was young, I was a back to the land hippie. I lived out in the mountains in Montana for two years in basically a shack, with no electricity or running water. I learned a lot! It was really a wonderful time in my life. I'll be glad to be in touch when we get to the other side. Best wishes for your Walden Pond month.

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  3. I took a month off last year, not to find any inner wisdom, but because I had a job and had to go to Wash. DC. Some people predicted I would quit. But I didn't. I came back refreshed, with new ideas. Your journey is a deeper, more important one than mine, but still I hope you come back too.

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    1. Tom, Making a living is important, too! I'm glad the blog break turned out well for you. I think it will for me, too.

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  4. Galen, I hope your time away from blogging is one of revelation and joy. I have taken short breaks, but no longer than a week at a time. It was hard for me. I felt disconnected. And I think I'm too attached to the comments that I receive--the silence was hard for me to take. But maybe the silence was what I needed.

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    1. Tina, We love those comments! I don't know what this will be like for me, but I feel ready for it. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. Thank you for the link, I am excited for my daily dose! I think a step back from full time blogging is something we could all use from time to time! Enjoy!

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    1. Karen, Thanks for the good wishes, and I'm glad you'll stay in touch via the FB page.

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  6. Hi Galen,

    That surely was a lovely poem, and I also enjoyed those lines by Confucius :)

    I like the fact that you are planning to take a break, something that I've been long thinking of but just not being able to. Like you, it's been nearly 3 years I've been blogging, and with the way things are moving, it does get overwhelming at times. We too would be going for our small family vacation in June, so, I too would be debating whether to take a break from blogging those few days, or schedule the posts like most people do - but then I wouldn't call that a 'break' :)

    Thanks for sharing, and have a lovely time :)

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    1. Harleena, I have taken short breaks before, and everything continued without noticeable effect. If you take a break during your family vacation, I think you could pick up right where you left off. Either way, I hope you enjoy your vacation. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  7. For very personal reasons I will be anxious to see how this blog-cation works for you and your readers. As we have talked, I sensed a real need for a major shakeup in your routine.

    Don't be surprised if I need an occasional e-mail and video chat to keep me from missing my "Galen" fix on a regular basis.

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    1. Bob, A blog-cation--I like that! It's easy, isn't it, to fall into a routine doing something we love to do. And yes, we can certainly be in touch. I need my Bob fix, too! I'm not unplugging entirely, just taking a break from new blog posts. And hopefully not spending as much time on the computer. Thanks for your support.

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  8. A break sounds lovely to me too! Funny you should mention "tapping of the heart," because I've just started doing EFT or "tapping" to slow down my thinky little mind as well, and it seems to be working very nicely.

    I hope you have a beautiful retreat, and I'll look forward to seeing you when you get back! :)

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    1. Jennifer, I've heard of EFT, but I don't really know much about it. My reference to the tapping was to an earlier post I wrote about the Kalahari bushmen and their inner knowing, which they describe as a tapping of the heart. I'd like to know more about your EFT experience. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  9. Good for you Galen! I'm already thinking ahead to some summer breaks but a whole month - you Rock Girl!
    Kudos to you for allowing that one little word, "Wait" to be your teacher! I don't know if I could ever manage that. But life happens whether or not you want it to!
    I hope you have a lovely break Galen! See you in July!
    Lori

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    1. Lori, Thanks for the support and encouragement. I appreciate it!

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  10. It takes a lot of courage to take a break like this. I'm so inspired by your decision, and, at the same time, understand your wee bit of nervousness.

    I have taken a blogging break. I think the longest had been two weeks. One year, I did a week long loving kindness retreat on my own. It was fabulous.

    I hope you find all that you wish in the quiet corners of your mind. I'll miss you and am happy for you too! Can't wait to see how this unfolds.

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    1. Sandra, Thanks for your support. I appreciated being able to talk to you about it earlier. You are always such an inspiration to me. I will let you know how the month goes.

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  11. Wow, I'm also excited for you :) Take care Galen and have a wonderful time :)

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Melissa.

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  12. If you feel this strongly about this, Galen, then follow your heart. We will miss you here, but will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. May this time of "wait" be a fruitful one for you, my friend!
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for your support, Martha. By the way, I just finished your second book. Can't wait for the third. Oh, I guess I will have to "wait."

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  13. Oh yes, my longest was a 3 month blogging break. I took the time to meditate and reflect on the way forward.

    Every year and each time I go on a holiday, I would conveniently take a 2 week blogging break.

    I used to feel very anxious and was not able to completely log off the internet. However, I have learned to let things go. There are days when I don't log on at all. It's fine as I'd be using the time meaningfully such as meditating, working with clients or simply having me-time.

    I will miss reading your posts though. Hope to read your updates again in July! Hugs, Evelyn

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    1. Evelyn, Three months! That must have been so spirit and mind clearing, if that term makes any sense. I won't be offline completely, but I look forward to resting myself from the blogging schedule. I'm encouraged by your own experience. Thanks for commenting.

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  14. I liked the thoughts of the feast of thoughts and fasting of the mind. I am going to ponder upon these.
    Often times when I pray to my Father In Heaven; I say the prayer and then just get up to start my day. If I linger in silence I find that I get answers more often. I heard once that if you pray with gratitude first then pause and have a pen and paper handy to write down the thoughts you have. I need to learn to be still and hear.
    I will of course miss your posts for the month; but then again maybe I will think about taking a break too.
    Blessings to you!

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    1. LeAnn, I like your description of pausing and listening. Like you, sometimes I do all the "talking" in my meditation/prayer times, when I would benefit more from listening. Blessings back to you, my friend.

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  15. Good for you! Will miss you but vacations (in their various forms) are essential and restorative. I find it to be my most creative and revelatory time but only if I unhook enough to truly rest. Have a wonderful break.
    -Chris @ FlashMemoirs.com

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    1. Chris, Thanks for the support. This will be a partial unhook! We'll see how it goes. Hope we can visit soon.

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  16. I loved the quotes in this post. I am big fan of the Tao. I am also a big fan of your choice for word of the year WAIT. I have the word Patience tatooed on my wrist and I still don't heed it enough. I hope your month away goes well.

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    1. Thanks, Sebastian. A tattooed word of your life, not just the year--that's commitment! Thanks for the good wishes.

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  17. We'll all miss your posts Galen and looking forward to seeing you back. Enjoy your time off - is this essentially a pilgrimage within? If so, not better pilgrimage to take:)

    I will definitely be keeping in touch via facebook and email.

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    1. Vishnu, Yes, a pilgrimage within. I won't be going further than my meditation cushion, except when I go to the cabin. Look forward to staying in touch with you this month.

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  18. Galen,

    I hope the month of June is full of peace, love and self discovery. Take good care and we'll see you in a month!

    Alex

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    1. Alex, I apologize for the delay in publishing your comment and responding! Somehow in that last day or so before I started my break, I missed this. Your comments are always valued and appreciated. Thanks so much for your encouragement and support.

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  19. Hi Galen,

    It is wonderful that you are taking a break from blogging, although we will miss you!

    As a fellow regular blogger, I can understand the effort and energy it takes to do so. A break from blogging is a good thing. The times when I've taken a break from blogging and a break from anything outwardly stimulating is when I've been on meditation retreats. The first time I went on one, there was complete silence for 10 days, and no distractions like TV and mobile phones. It was a little tricky to get used to first. However, after a few days it was fine.

    I'll see you over at your Facebook page and wishing you good break from blogging. Cheers!

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    1. Hiten, 10 days of silence! That would be intense. I guess I have short versions of that when I'm at the cabin for a few days. Thanks for your good wishes.

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  20. Hi Galen,

    It is wonderful that you are taking a break from blogging, although we will miss you!

    As a fellow regular blogger, I can understand the effort and energy it takes to do so. A break from blogging is a good thing. The times when I've take a break from blogging and a break from anything outwardly stimulating is when I've been on meditation retreats. The first time I went on one, there was complete silence for 10 days, and no distractions like TV and mobile phones. It was a little tricky to get used to first. However, after a few days it was fine.

    I'll see you over at your Facebook page and wishing you good break from blogging. Cheers!

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    1. Hiten, I apologize for the delay in publishing your comment and responding! Somehow in that last day or so before I started my break, I missed this. Your comments are always valued and appreciated. I appreciate hearing about your break experiences. Total silence! I will have to try that sometime. Thanks so much for your support.

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  21. Hi Galen,

    What a beautiful, beautiful post. You are an inspiration!

    I've taken breaks before but am in a different space right now - feeling such urge to build the Grief To Growth project for widows. So I'm learning the noble art of productivity, which to me is really a more meditative approach to work: more focus while working, more concsiouns choices and also more meditation in between tasks. I love it this way.

    I had a funny experience with meditation just yesterday. Noticed how I keep thinking because I/my mind just want to help solve whatever problems need to be solved. I acknowledged that and told my mind / myself that the bestway to help would be to be still - and then my mind/I went into silence, just like that. We are some fascinating beings! :-)

    Have a wonderful wait, dear Galen!

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    1. Thanks, Halina, for your good wishes. And thanks for sharing your meditation story. I wish my mind would follow your mind's lead!

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  22. Beautifully written! I hope you enjoy your break, and will go over to your facebook page now...

    I had more of a forced break a couple of months ago transferring over to a new wordpress site, and just feeling a little uninspired in general.

    I agree that it is with silence, quiet contemplation, and tuning into ourselves that we grow the most along our journey in life. I try to work this in to every day, if only for a few minutes to rejuvenate my soul, and give me a peaceful focus for the day.

    Ang :)

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    1. Angela, I hope you will enjoy the FB page. Like you, I try to have a little silence in my day every day. I'm enjoying the chance now to spend more time like that this month. Thanks for commenting.

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  23. "Wait" seems to fit your decision to press the pause button, Galen.

    We love you and will patiently "wait" for your return.

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  24. Galen,
    Your post for just perfect for me because for the last month or so I have been basically "unplugged". I was exhausted by a move, the end of the school year and a graduation. All happy events, just all happening at the same time. So I completely understand where you're coming from. I finally am feeling a little energized and coming back to visit my favorite blogs.

    Thanks for the inspiration! And enjoy your time out!

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    1. Betsy, Thanks for the good wishes. I'm glad you were able to unplug as needed and come back refreshed.

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  25. interesting to read thank you I really liked your article I love your beautiful blog and so enjoy your posts.good job

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  26. Galen: Enjoy your earned break!

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  27. Currently I've been called to do the same. I'm in the middle of my 365 Inspirations and am not sure I will continue. I've been on a solo writing/meditation/yoga retreat for 5 days and feel there are some other areas of my life that I want to tune into more. Good for you for taking the break and best of luck!

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    1. Katherine, Thanks for the support and good wishes. I wish the same to you.

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  28. The Confucius quote is terrific. I have taken breaks, but I do love blogging. I hate Facebook, and I do hope you continue this blog. Happy 4th!

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    1. Thanks, JJ. I just posted an update on my plans. I suspect I'll be back on a more regular basis in the not-so-distant future. Hope you are having a great holiday.

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