Wisdom in the system revisited. 2023
In this October newsletter...
It's been just over a week since I arrived back from co-facilitating on Marion Young's amazing 4 day silent retreat (link for the retreat at the end).
One of the things I love about the venue is it has a Labyrinth, which is such a powerful resource. The blog below I originally wrote in 2017 and some much of what I wrote still rings true today after revisiting the Labyrinth.
Labyrinths have been around for a long time, at least over 4000 years, although their origins are unknown and uses vary. I have used them on a number of occasions to get answers to questions, solutions to personal problems and to seek clarity. The Wisdom in the System. I had a profound experience and realisation about how they work (for me at least) while running the "Inner Guru" retreat in Thailand, where the resort has 2 Labyrinths. While the group were sharing in one of our sessions sitting in a Labyrinth it occurred to me that we weren’t trying to find the answers or solve problems for each other but rather unlocking Wisdom by exploring how we structure our thoughts, values, and beliefs. In this exploration on most occasions, what was unraveled and revealed was that the “issues” people had been experiencing was to the most part, self made in the conditions of the mind. Or how the mind has been conditioned.
The ability to explore these conditions through enquiry either through others being curious and asking questions or by self, through mindfulness practices (like using the Labyrinth) can have profound and amazing effects. In this moment I began to realise; 1. That mindfulness is a state in which we can observe (not necessarily change) the nature of the mind in that present moment. 2. That many of our 'issues' and ‘problems' are due to the perception that we are giving a situation or experience. A simple example: Recently my son was trying to do some homework and the website he was using was trying to open another window for him to access information so he could complete it. However the security measures we placed on the computer was blocking these windows to stop inappropriate 'pop-up's' to safeguard my children. For my son this was a 'problem' because he needed access to the information which was blocked, not because there was anything wrong with the computer, but actually by design. This required a small adjustment to the controls so he could access this specific site and still keep the security measures in place, so "problem" solved. "The same thinking that caused the problem cannot create the solution." Albert Einstein Fast forward to 2023, this time in the silent retreat, having time for reflection I was aware was to get some clarity in areas of life that felt "stuck." However stepping into the Labyrinth it became apparent that it was areas of my thinking that were stuck not areas of my life.
Silence creates space for us to be still, from the stillness the labyrinth offers a process that provides a "out of your head" perspective to explore different and new possibilities. However we don't always have access to a labyrinth, but we can create space for silence. For the out-of-mind perspective can be facilitated by using techniques and practices to observe the mind through self-enquiry, mindfulness, NLP and deepening connection with the Wisdom of Nature.
Be Well, Be Great, Be Inspired
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