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06 November 2014

You have to ride the storm to reach the calm water

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by Richard Cutting

[groups_non_member group=”Registered”]Our first evening was with Burgs explaining the daily routine and the general form for the week ahead. Then we began ‘noble silence’. No talking, no direct eye contact, keep yourself to yourself, no reading, no writing, no books, newspapers, no nothing… I must have read the toothpaste tube a dozen times during those first few days.

Over the next seven days Burgs introduced us to meditation and chi kung, which is a complementary form of movement to get the energy flowing nicely. He guided us with specific techniques to settle down the chatty mind and in turn settle the restless body. It wasn’t easy after years of perpetual thinking, but I was committed and followed the instructions.

 

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[groups_member group=”Registered”]Our first evening was with Burgs explaining the daily routine and the general form for the week ahead. Then we began ‘noble silence’. No talking, no direct eye contact, keep yourself to yourself, no reading, no writing, no books, newspapers, no nothing… I must have read the toothpaste tube a dozen times during those first few days.

Over the next seven days Burgs introduced us to meditation and chi kung, which is a complementary form of movement to get the energy flowing nicely. He guided us with specific techniques to settle down the chatty mind and in turn settle the restless body. It wasn’t easy after years of perpetual thinking, but I was committed and followed the instructions.

Surely enough, after 3 days of fidgeting, pain in my legs, back, numbness, pins and needles, distractions from people moving, coughing, I found myself beginning to settle. Really settle. I was beginning to feel a stillness throughout my body I had never felt before. The pains had gone, the numbness had lifted, my back was supported with ease and amazingly my incessant mind had come to a stop.

Each day Burgs gave discourses. These included meditation insights and techniques, how this body works, how the mind can impact your health, plus ancient stories from past masters and practitioners of meditation. The discourses were fascinating and had a depth of clarity difficult to convey. It was during one of those discourses that Burgs spoke of how everything that happens to us and where we happen to be in our lives is utterly dependent upon our own choices and actions. That’s when it really hit me.

Up to that moment it had been predominantly others who were the reason I was where I was. It was my parents, the system, the world, people. All this wrestling with life and work, or the tendency to intoxicate myself to escape, or the way I had felt generally, was mainly due to others.

However, that discourse flipped me 180 degrees. Of course it was due to me. Put simply, I was entirely responsible and accountable for everything that had happened to me in the past, what is happening to me now and what will happen to me in the future. It was such a relief. I felt totally liberated. It had freed me up to take over the controls.

Burgs then drew a sailing boat fleeing a chasing storm. I recognised that boat as myself fleeing everything I didn’t want to feel right now. I had always avoided how I truly felt. Burgs then drew a sailing boat that had turned to face that storm and had gone through it to the other side where it was floating peacefully in calm sunny seas. The message was turn and face your ‘stuff’. Enter into that storm and go through to the other side. Once you’re on the other side that’s it. No more storm. It resonated very deeply. Aim for those calm waters.

Those two insights were magical. It doesn’t mean I’ll be without challenges but it does mean I have the controls to navigate through. Being accountable and taking responsibility 100% has enabled me to turn the boat around. I’m very grateful.[/groups_member]

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