The Vipassana Meditation Retreat (finally)

I have been back for a while from my Vipassana Meditation retreat and I still have not blogged about my experience. I have written extensively about in my journal, but haven’t taken the time, until today to translate at least a little bit of the experience to this blog. It was a very intimate and personal experience, and I have been home for a while and have told the story, like, 100 times, so I won’t go into every detail, but….

The Vipassana meditation retreat was amazing. I definitely feel the experience changed
me. The no talking for nine days was the biggest challenge and
biggest pleasure of the experience. It was just so
great to be there, silent and cut off from the world.
I did not care what was going on. No friends no
family, no cell phone or email. I loved it. We
were in the woods, and I love nature to no end, so it
was just delicious to be secluded and to work on my
self.

The no talking: I am a person who talks a lot and my sense of humor
is not dark, but sarcastic and witty and at times it
can be mean and a little vicious…..a lot of which
came from not my desire to be funny, but my own
unhappiness seeping into my words on to others. So
not talking for nine days really made me analyze what
i was saying and the way i talked to others and the
affect that my words have on other people. Since i
have been back i definitely think before i speak. I think the experience has just made me a little more aware of myself and how I treat others. I don’t want be mean or hurt anyone’s feelings. I can honestly say that I am a little nicer than I was before I left. I
am a lot more at peace with my self and that shows in
my interactions with others. I am not so quick to say
a snarky, bitchy comment under the guise of humor.

This has taken me a long time to work on, but it took the retreat to really take affect.

There were about 130 meditators in my retreat and the men and woman were separated. So I spent the 10 days with about 30-45 men. There were way more women than men. It was so surreal to spend so much time with these guys without ever speaking with them. We ate together, meditated right next to each other, walk the paths, shared the bathrooms and past each other in the halls with no words or or gestures or even much eye contact. And although there was such limited contact, I felt so connected with the men. It was a very intimate experience to through with these guys and at the end of it I felt like I know all of them.

In fact, I made up personas/characters for about 20 of them. At meal times we would all sit together and I would think about my life and my path and spirituality and all that, but that would get old and when it did I would just observe. I would watch these men eat and I would watch them thinking about their own life and path. So watching them, i had to wonder, why are they here? They each have a story and their own reasons for wanting to take part in this retreat. I’m pretty intuitive and so I felt I just knew who they were in some way.

Some of the names I came up with were The Average Joe, he was just an average, slightly overweight dad who thought this would be a good experience, but quickly learned that it was not for him and he couldn’t bring himself to leave early. The New York Transplant was short man in his 40’s with tufts of hair coming out of his t-shirt, he had a deep laugh and looked like a no bullshit kind of guys. I had the Chosen One, who’s hair and skin were both golden brown, his back was always perfect straight and he was there for every second of every meditation. There was The Bachelor who I swore had to either be an ex-frat boy, a law student or from Boston. My second favorite was The Sensitive Cowboy, this man had a beautiful body, with the biggest strongest quads I’ve ever seen, strong masculine hands and he looked so manly, but his demeanor was so gentle and caring and he took every step slowly and with grace and precision.

My favorite of them all was The Grizzly Teddy Bear. Grizzly is a man with matted out of control hair with a bushy, sometimes dirty, untamed beard. He looks….grizzly. But his eyes tell a different story. Look into his eyes and you are lost. They look at you with such an overwhelming amount of compassion and kindness and love. We had a couple of strange, but wonderfully intimate moments. Just those moments when you get stuck in front of someone on a path and you look them straight in the eye and Grizzly would look right through me into my soul. He took the meditation very seriously and he just seemed like the most calm man I’ve ever met.

On the tenth day we could finally talk to each other and I didn’t want to! I was so content in my silence that i became so nervous to talk to these men that i’ve been spending so much time with. Not talking took away the pressure to make conversation or to be smart or funny, so to finally had to talk was daunting. But i did talk to them and i found out if i was right about who i thought these men were. My New York transplant was from the East Coast. The Bachelor hates frat boys and is not from Boston but he is a former law student. I never talked to Grizzly. I don’t know why…I guess i didn’t want to ruin my experience with him.

So its been a month. Slowly i feel like i am getting
back more and more to myself, which i don’t like. I
loved that first week back when i felt so zen and
peaceful, but that fades. But i always have
that experience with me and all that i learned while i
was there. And i can always go back and do another
retreat and i can always do the meditation at home.

I feel great about my experience and I am definitely well on my path in life and with my spirituality.

I think every single person i know could benefit from this experience. Its free and only 10 days…its change your life. Check out www.dhamma.org

Advertisements

October 15, 2008. Life, Me Me Me!, Spirituality/Meditation, Thoughts.

Leave a Comment

Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: