Lizard in the Lane – On Retreat

Today marks the start of a week-long intensive retreat. A sesshin. There are a lot of people here and, yes, it’s raining. I consulted our unofficial weather monk and, yes, the 24 hour forecast predicts – more rain.

Here’s an excerpt from a chap who’s anticipating his second week-long retreat in the Vipassana tradition. He’s reflecting on the last retreat he attended. Along with the lizard, mentioned here, he changed his appreciation of (so called) weeds!

And as long as we’re on the subject of crazy, there was my moment of bonding with a lizard. I looked at this lizard and watched it react to local stimuli and thought: I’m in the same boat as that lizard — born without asking to be born, trying to make sense of things, and far from getting the whole picture.

I mean, sure, I know more than the lizard — like the fact that I exist and the fact that I evolved by natural selection. But my knowledge is, like the lizard’s, hemmed in by the fact that my brain is a product of evolution, designed to perform mundane tasks, to react to local stimuli, not to understand the true nature of things. And — here’s the crazy part — I kind of loved that lizard. A little bit, for a little while.

From an article in the New York Times by Robert Wright titled: Self, Meditating.

Many thanks to Dave for the link.

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One thought on “Lizard in the Lane – On Retreat”

  1. I really liked that article. I often think to myself that we are animals & not much different from other species. I know that a weed is only a plant not in the place we would like it to be (or perhaps it’s in a place we don’t want it to be). This can cause my allotment to fill up with foxgloves because I haven’t the heart to remove them when they seed – & I have pots & pots of seedlings at home because I hate to kill them. There are lots of approaches I have learned at Throssel which are part of the way I live & breathe & for which I am endlessly grateful. Sometimes I forget what it was like before I learned about them. It’s not crazy to feel love for a lizard – all living creatures have beauty.

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