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At our last retreat one of our sangha members literally moaned in our ending circle talk and said ,”This doesn’t feel spiritual! This is torture!” Everyone in the circle laughed hard because each of us were dealing with aching knees and backs and bottoms. We all knew EXACTLY what he was talking about! Not to mention the torture of sitting moment after moment watching your mind make things up over and over again and struggling each time to bring it back to the breath or the mantra or the great question. And yet……….when the retreat is over and freedom of movement returns there is a quality to our lives that is different – more spacious and full of gratitude for each other and for our practice. We find ourselves open and quiet – truly clear mirrors for this world. I’m always struck by the loving, grateful attitude each person displays at the end of a retreat. In spite of the physical pain, retreats are worth every moment.

– Rebecca Otte

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