Ed Reither – 2009 – Gardiner, Montana


Space, distance and breath – sitting in a turn of the
century huen log cabin for two weeks in a meditation retreat
could be hourly described as such. I would also add elements
body, pain, observation, insight, energy and silence. How
could I describe what I can’t fully express, not even fully
express but only partially comprehend. What is the feeling
of breath slowly entering the throat. How can I explain air
entering my nostrils and at the same time, the same moment
entering my throat and circulating to the back of my brain
and up the back of my skull as the air fills my abdomen?

Sitting still is not difficult if my posture is correct,
balanced and erect – time and space change character when I
sit for long periods of the time.

Mornings start with my routine. I would rise with the
sun shining on the mountainside outside the window at the
foot of my bed and I would some time try to guess the time
but I would not know as I did not have or want a timepiece
as the light started to go down the mountain and more and
more light would enter the room I would rise and go directly
to the meditation area I had set up in the upstairs dormer
area going directly from the bed to the meditation cushion
is an interesting affair since the body is Dills stiff and
not fully energized the first object is to disk cover the
kind of posture that I would best that would best serve the
mornings meditation for Lotus have Lotus easy posture it all
depends on a number of variables legs upper back shoulders
and neck once a sitting posture was discovered the press was
worked with his interesting to find breasts in the first
moments of moving from the bed to the cushion it is as if I
have two consciously breezed in the brass and it’s a fact
and it’s an effort breathing is an effort not because it is
blocked is just pulling it down into the abdomen filling the
belly in the heart concentration mind attention press
posture energy circulating pulsating filling the whole body
not centered correct spine straight bottom of the spine not
to curved forward shoulders back elements of sitting how his
sister. And then go down and then go downstairs for
breakfast how long I was sit I don’t know as I had no clock
but I would guess somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes the
first meditation were always painless and steady and
enjoyable but the second meditations are always the best as
a constant time a consistent time a second meditation after
breakfast was always energetic the breathless full in this
beard energy was awakened spirit energy I distinguish from
feeling of body or mind energy is a force or light mostly
centered on the top of my head the breath energy I described
previously as it went up the back of my skull would rise up
into the area above my skill filling my mind brain with
energy and light as the hours and days fluctuated I would
primarily concentrate on this aspect of the meditation if
there were any aspects or parts were and periods of my
sitting time that could be called spiritual would be this
meditation are sitting especially for such a long period of
time has many ups and downs to it for me the most
challenging aspects was the body and especially the upper
back and shoulders by natural tendency my shoulders are very
relaxed and tend to roll forward giving me the appearance of
having poor posture so it’s fitting is poured not erect
posture obstructs the free flow of energy and pain and
discomfort tend to develop in the upper regions of the back
for periods of time after the first couple of days I would
focus in on this area and try to hold my shoulders back in
such a manner that will allow the energy to move freely
through that region of the body it was interesting since my
shoulder shoulders are so relaxed and the movement required
muscles that were not normally used to be activated this at
times had to be a feeling of me holding weights and trying
to meditate at the same time after a while I mean days they
finally settled on putting my hands further back on my legs
which would move my shoulders back in a more relaxed manner
allowing me to sit comfortably with upper back without upper
back and shoulder pain the time or the amount of time I sat
buried as the days pass in the beginning of the rich treat I
would sit mode almost continuously I would sit for one. Upon
arising and then anywhere from three to four hours after
breakfast I would generally have a piece of fruit and some
energy Odwalla superfood green drink and then go on a bike
ride out of Sun-Times sometimes ride for two hours in the
mountains or ride into town Salo to Jerry and Christina and
ride back to the cabin I would arrive back between two and
three and then go right back to sitting how would sit for
two periods and then have dinner dinner was usually from
five to seven which included taking short walks outside
after which I would have either one or two more sitting
sessions and then retire to listen or watch my iPod this
schedule continued in full for the beginning of the retreat
but slowly changed as the days passed of the days I sat in
the cabin and they were 10 I was not troubled by my mind by
mind was relatively quiet and disciplined when allowed to
relax and have its way they always slightly recurring
elements were friends and activities at home as I watched
observe these there was little forced them and they have the
quality of being slightly played out in in the distant
background it seems to me that over the years of sitting and
also living thoughts and impressions without a strong
emotional component to them don’t have much force and can be
worked with quote unquote in an effortlessly nonaggressive
matter the environment in which this retreat took place was
very supporting it was first of all clean and quiet it was
situated in a mountain valley called Paradise Valley the
northern entrance to Yellowstone national Forest the cabin
provided me with all the comforts of home without
distractions such as television Internet or people for some
people being alone would be an issue I found this to be
quite a simple matter yes in the beginning I miss Lisa and
our companionship but I used those as they rectus moments
noticing the quality and force those feelings that I did
experience any forceful memories it would I would say it was
around Lisa and missing her silence was a very large element
in this treat and it was valued anonymously silence through
and through silence sometimes is so present that it is
unclear as to its boundaries the silence at many times was
all pervasive continuous and transcendental one aspect of
the strict treat that was tricky was the finding it as it
went along the tendency to figure out what was happening was
continuous what does this signify how should I walk work
with these energies observing phenomenon and trying to
identify it them noticing the mind and Howard wanted to
gauge and value experience the mind did need to be engaged
but most fundamentally the meditations were centered around
feeling and intuition intuition and feeling get resolved in
the heart and so as I sat in the mind would gauge described
or just plain old try and figure out what was going on I
would always restore my feeling and breath to my heart this
kind of discipline is an ordeal it is not easy and in many
ways painful but not in but it is invaluable in valuable is
not even a proper adjective since it implies that there is a
value to the experience which there is not as I write this
and in many moments after sitting I could find no difference
or outcome from sitting everything whether high or low in or
out is the same qualities change but there is a deeper to
use the word sense or intuition of sameness were what even
happens in the experience in no in nothing is fundamentally
changed yes feelings and energy exist then it is much more
pleasurable to be filled with it than not so in some sense
the act of sitting is beneficial for that the core of it
nothing changes its kind of funny Whitey duel this at all
why do anything at all but yet at the same time something
has to be done in something is happening it is beneficial
yes it is valuable yes to I recommended absolutely yes I
really don’t think I could recommend any other kind of
vacation or retreat that would benefit an individual then a
solitary wilderness retreat he restores the body to a
balance that is help help helpful not only because it’s of
continuous emphasis on the breath but because this kind of
retreat accompanies a limited minimal diet sitting in
meditation for an extended period of time feeds the body
mind with spirit and energy so elemental food energy is not
required when experience after riding into the mountains and
returning I sat down to meditate the sun was shining and the
neighbors were cutting their lawn with the power more as a
set strong force of energy started to be felt on the top of
my head pushing or forcing its energy down on top of my
skull it was not in a specific location or a general overall
space on top of the head and was strong and as I could have
broken by changing positions are getting out I allowed it to
press its force down