Daraius’ Diary: “Awaken to the Flow of Life…& Let It Move You”

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Daraius’ Diary: “Awaken to the Flow of Life…& Let It Move You”

Million Mile SecretsDaraius’ Diary: “Awaken to the Flow of Life…& Let It Move You”Million Mile Secrets Team

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Daraius:  We’ve got a great team at Million Mile Secrets helping with posts.  But I miss writing as much as I did in the old days!  So here I am writing about stuff that I really care about.  And which isn’t all miles-and-points related.

A few weeks ago, I attended the “Awakening to Life Intensive” in Madison, Virginia, with Robert Gonzales and Robert Krzisnik.

I had earlier attended Robert Gonzales’ 3-day workshop in New York City, “Non-Violent Communication (NVC) as a Spiritual Practice.”  I loved how he combined NVC and meditation, both topics which I find fascinating and which have influenced me a lot.

I flew to Washington, DC, and rented a car to drive to the Seven Oaks Retreat center.  As soon as I saw the beautiful trees while pulling into into the gravel driveway, I felt a sense of relief and peace.

Daraius Diary Awaken To The Flow Of Life Let It Move You
Where Will This Path Lead?

The rooms were very clean, but basic.

This wasn’t a “retreat,” but an “intensive.”  So we got up at 7:00 am and didn’t go to bed until 10:00 at night!

Daraius Diary Awaken To The Flow Of Life Let It Move You
I Didn’t Use The Bed Much During My Week Here!

I am grateful for the structured schedule because it ensured that we would stick to the practices.  We had ~1 hour for each meal and that was the most rest we got in the day.

We started the morning in a group circle to share what was alive for each of us.  We then went on to a “question of the day” which formed part of a dyad inquiry (i.e. 2 people sit across from each other and ask each other the question 4 times while the other person just listens without speaking).

Interspersed during the 7 dyad inquiries a day, was time to walk in nature to integrate our awareness and a time for movement exercises.  I found the movement exercises, where we would just move our bodies however we wanted, very challenging.  Soft music would play in the background and we were to move our bodies “to the flow of life.”  What the heck does that even mean?

I was filled with thoughts of “am I doing this right,” “does this look stupid,” and other such reactions.

And then I realized that the purpose of the exercise, was for me to be aware of such thoughts and to try to meet them with compassion and kindness.

Daraius Diary Awaken To The Flow Of Life Let It Move You
I Had Different Awareness & Sensations Each Time I Contemplated This Question

At first, I was frustrated at having to get up so early and to not be able to sleep-in.  Then I was frustrated at having to repeat the question ~28 times a day!  Gradually, as my distractions become less pronounced because of the internet and telephone hiatus, I was able to feel more into the questions.

I loved how the facilitators encouraged us to pause and let the questions land before trying to “answer” them.  And I especially loved the suggestion to not answer the question from an intellectual sense, but from a felt sense within the body.

I always struggle with not looking at the world intellectually, and I appreciated the opportunity to slow down and seek answers from a different place within me.  A place that is unfamiliar – but filled with lots of life in all its many forms.

During 1 or 2 of my dyads, I felt as if I was taller than the trees and expanding into the universe!  I found that the stillness I experienced while “dyad-ing” with another person to be of a different quality than the stillness I experience when I meditate by myself.  And unique in that it was a better representation of the “real world” where I interact with many folks daily.

Daraius Diary Awaken To The Flow Of Life Let It Move You
Walking Meditation Gave Me Time to Be Grateful for Nature

We also had time for walking meditation twice a day where we would walk in silence amidst nature.  I’ll admit to taking a nap during some of the time for walking!

Bottom Line

By the end of the retreat, I had got more understanding into how I experience life.

I observed the instinctive patterns which prevent me from receiving others and the life around me.  Not good.  Not bad.  Just being able to notice those patterns.

And I got practice at seeing how open, free, and peaceful life can really be once I get past my instinctive defenses, judgements, and thoughts.  I got a glimpse at what it means to be human, living authentically and vulnerably.  To see the joy and the sadness and the nuances of human existence.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Thanks for sharing. I am a farmer and have hosted 150 young people in the last 10 years. The hardest thing for them to adjust to is a relationship to the natural world and that they are part of the natural world. The disconnect people feel with the natural world is escalating due to internet and phones. People are putting more faith in computers than humans and the natural world. I hope your article gives people pause.

Million Mile Secrets

Thanks for sharing! I notice that I am much more distracted and disconnected when I fiddle with my phone, and don’t limit my “screen” time. It is so easy to do in today’s world.

I love reading your soul-searching adventures. You have a beautiful mind.

Million Mile Secrets

Thanks for your kind words!

Thanks for sharing this, Daraius. More and more I’m noticing an intersection between Miles & Points Enthusiasts, Entrepreneurs, and Spirituality which makes a lot of sense. People who’ve questioned traditional travel (2 weeks a year) and traditional work (9-5 desk jobs) with great success seem more likely to question traditional (Western) spirituality in search of something more effective and fulfilling.

Million Mile Secrets

Hmmm…I never thought of it that way, and I like the fresh perspective you bring. I know for me, the motivation is contentment and finding a way of being that is peaceful, yet effective.