Hiding out in a cave is easy,
once you get the hang of it.

Chopping wood, fetching water –
really, how difficult is that today?

It’s only when you come back down
to the red dust town that you’ll recall
why you chose to climb those hills,
leave all behind, and rush to get away.

High up on the mountain, obscured
by clouds and mists, you may at times
feel loneliness or vexing reservations, but
it seems that’s part of the price you’ll pay
to avoid the messiness of life’s relations.

You may tell yourself that you’re in the cave
to attain a special state of spiritual grace,
but unless you confront your conditioned
preferences face to face, there will be no
authentic liberation, but only another weary
round of that ancient game of karma creation.

While you lounge about in pseudo-bliss,
swooning in those meditative sessions,
all that you’ve actually managed to do
is postpone this realm’s intended lessons.

“Mind like vast space, radiant transparency” –
how profound it all can sound, and yet
if you happen to meet another who questions
your contentment, you may discover just how
swiftly that your self-imputed loftiness
can descend into resentment!


About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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10 Responses to Retreat

  1. Alisha says:

    Cave retreat is always on my mind and I have plan to go someday. It is not that I believe if I go to cave retreat I will be enlighten. It it for experience something new. But before going to retreat I need to clearly understand the essence of mind. Otherwise it is just like you have explained in poem …if you happen to meet another who questions
    your contentment, you may discover just how
    swiftly that your self-imputed loftiness
    can descend into resentment! .. ..
    this poem tells us the reality of cave retreat…thanks for sharing brother Bob…much love and respect 🙂

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thank you Alisha for your clear understanding! Many aspirants believe they must radically change their circumstances or undergo all sorts of eccentric experiences in order to be free, not realizing that if they cannot realize their true nature right where they are, then traveling to distant peaks is not going to provide them with anything more than another temporary experience. Personally, I’ve lived like a hermit in isolated locales, so I do understand the allure, but it was only by engaging in relationships that I came to understand this human birth — its richness and its potential, but mostly, what was true about myself.

      Love & Blessings!

      • Alisha says:

        once people experience everything than they can renounce , what about the little monks who have never seen the world ? ..are they going to be good lama’s once they grow up or it is their robe only that is the proof they are Lamas or Rinpoches, but inside they are like normal lay man who have hatred, ignorance, desire etc. How long did you stay in hermit ? Is it in India ? 🙂

      • Bob OHearn says:

        My first retreat was for 6 months, living in a tent by the banks of a river in the High Sierras, when I was 21. Next I entered a Zen Buddhist monastery, for 3 years.

        I recently this wrote to another:

        Buddha recommended that his monks alternate 3 months in community and 3 months in solitude, which seems like a good idea (if you’re a monk). Most of us don’t have that kind of flexibility, but it is still a wise approach to balance time alone with time “in the world”.

        Love & Blessings!

      • Alisha says:

        Thank you so much respected brother Bob..

  2. robjam972000 says:

    Hi Bob,, I’ve just discovered your websites and am enjoying reading all your articles which I resonate with especially about Soul Groups and Soul mates/Twin Flames. I know so many people who swear Archangel Michael is their Twin Flame or Michael Jackson is their true love etc etc. Oh also have you written an article about what is known as Parallel Universes or Realities?

    Love and Blessings
    Susan xx

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Hi Susan!

      I assume you are referring to the Spirit Guide Sparrow blog. There is nothing specific about parallel universes, except an indication that there are more universes than grains of sand on a beach, and certainly more interpretations of reality far different than the standard human ones.


  3. robjam972000 says:

    Hi Bob… Yes, it was the Spirit Guide Sparrow Blog. Yes, I think Parallel Universes is difficult to explain. It’s like when you read channelled material about the Christ story and their seems to be many different versions from the channelled material. I guess different versions were playing out in Parallel Universes? I’m not sure if you could call that Parallel Universes?

    Susan xx

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Hi again Susan!

      I don’t follow channeled materials, so I am not sure what they say. I do know that there is talk about parallel time lines and realities among certain quantum theorists who propose such possibilities.


  4. Susan says:

    The best book I’ve read is an author called Trish LeSage who has written a book called “Traveling to Parallel Universes” She writes about her experiences travelling to many different realities! Really interesting book. Here is a link to download it….

    Susan xx

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