during one of the group interviews at the retreat, the teacher was talking about judgin g the value of the retreat and i was thinking to myself about how i had pretty much written of the retreat. naturally, i was told not to have any expectations about the retreat but it’s inevitable. the key element would be not to be attached to the expectation.

needless to say, i was in the 3rd day and even though outwardly i seem pretty stable (as in posture and stillness), my mind wander like a ghost looking for a lost love. while i am hearing stories of lost and emotional turmoil from the other retreatants in their own wandering states, my mind predominantly drifts off to adventures in orange land. once in a while, i think about the hot older woman sitting in front of me but her bones would probably crush me. so, by the time i got the inevitable two messages from my business partners, i knew it was fruitless for me to stay any longer. alas, my mind had begun to reverse engineer all the intenstive training that it had tried to do in the last 72 hours.

as i am driving back into the city, i know that my fog like state of mind was not helping with my emotional turmoil for being such a traitor. i felt like that traitor in the first matrix movie where the true reality was too difficult for him and he just wanted to be reinsert into the matrix. i was liking my constructed reality too much and it was readily apparent my mind states through the retreat. i mean when you consider that i wasn’t suppose to be ‘working’ during the retreat, i used the slippery concept that i was practicing being present with creativity by exercising my rights as a photographer. the rationale of the subtle ego is appalling when you consider it’s awesome power. i would almost be frigthen by the powers of my own ego but there lies the oxymoron. but let’s reconsider the more basic learnings from the retreat for such exercises are never a waste of time.

above all other learnings of the self is my inability to concentrate. as accomplished as my scatter activities may seem, it is the inability concentrate that will render mostly medicore results in al that i do. within this particular exercise, the inablity becomes exceedingly clear and there are no stories that would suppport any other theories. obviously, i already knew that i was doing too many things and i had some great rationale on why but then maybe i do accept medicore results more than i care to admit. still, a different perspective on the matter would be that i must develop more patience to see the frution of these medicore results. whether it be yoga practice or photography skills, it takes a long time to produce profound results. it doesn’t happen within 5 years of starting on these life long projects. certainly that line of thought is much easier to follow and it’s more compassionate to myself. which brings me to the second major learning, a clear lack of compassion for myself and others around me. as much as I supposedly practice the act through monetary gifts to numerous organizations, my daily experience is clearly not of a compassionate being. if we are to buy that our ‘act” – advance landmark alert – operates on every part of life, then it would only make sense that my lack of compassion starts with the self and extends to all others. when i consider these two very significant learnings on the state of self, i am only left wth one conclusion. there is an enormous (bigger than starting another company while being in debt from previous exercise) amount of work on this path even before i dare say that i am on a path. for now, it seems that i have simply bush whacked so that i can find a path. i’ve taken a few steps into the path but i am more likely to trip myself stepping backwards from the path.