I'm Back!

Well, it's Saturday night, May 3, 2014, and I am back in Austin after spending just shy of four days at the first in a series of three Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training retreats sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Actually, the Retreat isn't over until tomorrow, but I needed to get back to Austin for Shabbat so I left before the crack of dawn Friday morning.
The retreat was held at the Garrison Institute in the absolutely gorgeous Hudson Valley town of Garrison, New York. The Garrison Institute is actually a former Catholic monastery, which gives the place quite an interesting atmosphere. There's so much I want to say about the retreat, which was the first "hard-core" silent retreat I've ever attended – quite a remarkable experience. I will share more about the experience at some point on torahblog on this website.
For now, suffice it to say that omerblog has been dark for a few days. I was such a zombie when I left the house at around 4:15 AM last Monday morning that I walked off without my laptop. In the end, I think this was actually a good thing. One of the goals of the retreat, besides intensive practice in mindfulness and meditation and prayer, is disconnecting oneself from technological distractions like computers and smartphones. I thought that I could bend those rules for myself by surreptitiously keeping up with my blog in the evenings, but I now see that it would've been a real intrusion into the retreat experience. So although I initially felt frustrated to have left my computer (and this blog) behind for a few days, it also gives the opportunity to focus on the retreat process.
As I said, I hope to post more on this whole experience at a future date. In the meantime, thanks all of you for your patience and omerblog now continues!
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