A week of contemplation and silence

Every once in a while, I feel a need to reboot. I decided to set aside this last week before my kids come home from college for the summer to fast, meditate, and refrain from speaking. It's not a water fast; I'll be doing tea, coffee, and juice. And I will be going to Midwives tomorrow night as usual. (Carrot juice and critique group -- the essential nutrients I need to survive.)

I used to be very ritualistic about this sort of thing. Got up at 5 AM, read preselected scripture, focused fiercely on one particular thing like generosity or humility or self-discipline. (I tried very hard for a very long time to be a good Christian, then decided to give that up and follow the teachings of Jesus instead.) But I haven't planned anything for the coming week. Only to listen instead of speaking and to use hunger as a cue to take in what I really need. Whatever that is at the moment.

From the last chapter of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha:
"When someone is searching," said Siddhartha, "then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes."