Retreat at Mission San Luis Rey

I was down to my last t-shirt, so the first order of business for today was doing my laundry. My sister Christine is coming down to visit the family this weekend, so I stripped the bed and washed the sheets so she could sleep on fresh linens while I’m off at the meditation retreat. At eleven o’clock I headed over to Big Red’s Automotive so Ken could change my oil and check out the issue with the power steering unit. Good to see Ken, his wife, and their blind dog Bruno all doing well and keeping the shop humming along. Filled all the fluids and gave the Honda a thorough exam. The high pressure hose on the power steering pump has a slow leak going on, “weeping” they said. Sounds so sad. We ordered up the part and made an appointment for next week to get that fixed up.

Back at Ray’s place, our long time lawn guy Joel was out mowing Dad’s backyard. I tried pumping him for undercover information on our old house, but he was discreet and only said that he missed PJ, especially around Christmas when the house would be covered in decorations. He said it was ‘her time to shine’. I guess the new folks aren’t as big on decking the halls. I left him to do his business and went in to pack up my bags for the retreat. Made up the bed, then drove on over to the mission to partake in some much needed silence and contemplation.

I got checked in then wandered around the grounds taking pictures and starting to slow down and unwind from all the worry and stress over setting up appointments and fretting about the costs and logistics of getting it all done. Took some deep breathes and felt the calming energy of the old adobe walls. Everything is really okay, it is just the stories in my mind that sometimes make the situation larger than it actually is. Things will get done, life will go on and a few months down the road it will be as if it never an issue.

The gift shop was a nice diversion. I wandered around inside picking up a St. Christopher for safe travels and a book of writings by St. Francis. I went into the mission itself and sat for awhile closing my eyes and following my breathing. Said a quick prayer, then went back to retreat compound and met up with my fellow retreatants. Good to be among friends, like minded friends who share a common desire to increase their spiritual lives and improve the way we relate to the world.

Some of the guys I haven’t seen in almost a year. We spent some time catching up over dinner then we congregated in our little meeting room and shared our intentions for the weekend and then sat in meditation for a period of time. Afterwards, we talked about our individual experiences and closed it out with some chanting before heading back to my little room to read and do a little bit of writing. Eleven of us here for the weekend. Ready for some peaceful sleep.

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