I depart after lunch for silence. I booked tonight and tomorrow night a small cabin at the Vajrapani Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. For about 30 hours, I’ll sit, stretch, meditate, walk, eat, and sit some more. No roaring, however, as this is a silent and solitary retreat.
I’ve stayed once before at the Vajrapani Center, right when I first broke up with Greg, so about six years ago. I needed a place then to get away, but not to get to another place, but rather to go inward. In my little cabin, I watched the stars come out, tracked planes in the sky, and contemplated life.
I no longer have a car to whisk me into the mountains. Fortunately, Jay offered me use of his car, so I hop on BART midday, switch to Caltrain at Millbrae, pick up a bus in Mountain View, collect his car at Google, and drive west towards the ocean. It’s a long trip of many legs, but each leg may bring me closer to solitude.
Spinach asked what I hope from this two-day adventure. I seek stillness. Leaving work in late May freed me up from the external politics of the office as well as my obsessive, internal planning of projects and deadlines. Even without work (or rather because of no work), I keep constantly charting courses and writing lists: do this, get that, put this away, work, work, work. At this point, the nadir (or perhaps it is a height) of this stretch of unemployment, a time away, I would like for once to breathe, notice, not plan, be grateful, be mindful, and to be still. No roaring, at least for a few days.