As some of you may know, I have been to a couple meditation retreats, one of them being a 10 day silent meditation retreat (link to my Reflections from a 10 day silent retreat blog). A meditation retreat, like the ones I’ve been to, create an environment secluded from the often chaotic world, which is highly supportive of deep personal growth and concentration. While these meditation retreats are great and magical, how can one create an atmosphere of calmness amidst the chaos?
A simple answer may be to practice meditation at home, which promotes one’s ability to focus and, once interacting in the day, not get distracted by external stimuli. Another may be to disconnect from technology for a day and get in some nature, which also promote self care. All the above have helped me understand and appreciate the Shabbat, the day of rest. Whereas the tremendous growth at the retreat was in an ideal environment, the Shabbat is an oasis amid the world of external stimuli.
It is a day to simply be. There is no work, no doing. No work means not engaging in week day activities. Activities, like cooking, are taken care of ahead of time, to make the day restful, a day of being, and truly in the state of flow. It provides the space and time to connect, to grow, to learn, and to rest. It is the ‘place’ of arrival, where all is accomplished. ‘No work’ is letting go of, putting a crown on, the week of and the week to come. A pause where everything is complete. And, what’s often disregarded, this includes connecting with the emotions that come with rest - gratitude, love, joy, wholeness.
Generating calm within chaos is being able to connect with that calmness regardless of what’s going on around you. I named a few ways - meditation retreat, disconnect from technology, nature, and shabbat - what’s one more way you have been able to be calm within the chaos?