Revolutions: A Meditation Retreat

This post is by Bridget Liddell. She is a senior at DePaul finishing up her degree in Philosophy, Theater Studies, and French. She is serving in her second year as an Interfaith Scholar. This article is a reflection of the most recent meditation retreat. The theme was revolution.

Revolution as the throwing-off of oppressive systems through the determination of a people to be free – Cairo and Libya were at the center of my thoughts when I chose the topic for the most recent overnight retreat. Taping our ideas onto the eggplant colored fireplace, we made a visual definition for revolution in all its forms. Not only is it political release (or terror), it can mean life turning forward, a rotating wheel. As an earth spiritualist, circular symbols are at the core of my tradition, and in a sense political upheaval is a turning forward, a “shift”, as someone wrote.

Later that night, we gathered in a circle and burned pieces of paper on which we had written what was blocking us and preventing us from moving forward. The flame took our obstructions and released them. Sometimes we can be our own greatest limit. One by one we fell silent, calm, reflective. I have done this before, and now the clear, open feeling is familiar.

Then, attempting to not get dirt everywhere, we planted seeds in tiny compostable holders, some just because, some attached with a particular intention – confidence or a future hope. The idea was to look at what is preventing you, and then to move forward into action.

Around midnight, we walked to the lake in the drizzling rain, and on the beach we were free to move and shout. Crashing waves are both calm and active, slowly wearing away at the status quo or rushing in to exact immediate change. So often people tell me that I am only one person, what could I do to change anything in the world – but doing nothing is still an action, and everything must begin somewhere.

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