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What to say after a week away in the noble silence of retreat, where every thought, mood, action, reaction, sound, sensation, and moment arrives just as it is?

What to say after being in such close contact with the experience of mind and body for seven days?

The question of the week was: What is awareness noticing right now?

And it’s a question that has been continuing to float gently through since we returned home, into moments of joy and frustration, of exhaustion and elation, of ordinary-ness and extraordinary-ness.

There really isn’t anything to say, or even to do. The day, the hour, the minute, the breath, the thought – each of these things is arising, being known, and then falling away. Simply notice what there is to be noticed. That’s it. Easy peasy, right?


It’s quite an undertaking, to show up for life in this way, to do something that is so simple, and yet at times so difficult.

Awareness is noticing the one photograph I took when the retreat was over (above); noticing the memory of the snowstorm that brought nearly 24 inches of snow to the retreat center; noticing the bright clear blue sky outside the window as I type these words; noticing the flavor of coffee in the mouth; noticing the memory of yesterday’s lovely community sing; noticing the memory of those few dozen red winged blackbirds I heard and watched on my daily walk around the loop while on retreat; noticing a sadness arising upon remembering a bit of news I heard from someone yesterday; noticing tension in the shoulders and then its gentle release as soon as it’s noticed. And on and on the practice goes.

What to say about any of it? It’s all just happening on its own, moment after moment.

And I’m noticing that I have nothing else to say about it, because I’m noticing that it’s time for breakfast.