In the Buddhist tradition “Phansa” is the rainy season—typically July, August, and September. During this window of time, monks stay indoors to study, meditate, and teach. This practice stems from when Buddha stayed inside to avoid stepping on and killing insects and seedlings.
I’m fascinated by this tradition. However, with owning a healing practice and teaching, taking a three month hiatus simply isn’t prudent.
Last fall Terrill Welch over at Creative Potager posed the sprout question, “Where are you finding sublime bliss today?”
Shorty thereafter, Catie Manning over at As Told by CatMan – The Rose Bandit asked, “How do you get rid of stress?”
My answer to both was the same—in the shower.
It’s here that I take a mini Rain Retreat. Pulling in a Rubbermaid footstool, I sit with my back to the shower-head, and wholly relax as the hot water pelts my neck and shoulders, washing any physical tension right down the drain. The emotional tension melts away as I practice my personal version of metta:
I visualize myself as a smooth pebble that’s been tossed into a still pond. The pebble—me—produces a gentle ripple effect on the calm surface. The first time I say the metta, I start with myself. Then each consecutive time I replace “I” with the next person in my life—the next ring out—and so on.
It looks something like this: me, Len, our son, Kayley, individual family members, individual friends, neighbors, clients—you get the idea—until I end with,
“May all beings…”
May I live in safety
May I be healthy—body, mind, and spirit
May I live with ease
May I listen more than I speak
May my motivation be positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing
May I interact with kindness and respect
May my constant companions be peace of mind and joy
May laughter reside in my heart
Where do you go to retreat?
Listen with your heart,
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan
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