Seeing Things As They Really Are | Vipassana Retreat |

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This past May I had the wonderfully challenging opportunity to attend a free 10 day silent meditation retreat. Sounds lovely huh? Or maybe extreme and torturing? Well it was definitely all of that and more. I've know about this retreat offered as a service to the community for years now since visiting India where my host mother told me about it. She said she had all these great spiritual revelations and experiences and was even able to remember some of her past lives. So I was super into it, mainly to grow spiritually and get more in tune with my higher self. I especially wanted to get over this resistant hump in my mediation practice.

Finally the opportunity came along for me to attend and as we walked into the mediation hall to begin the silence and many days and hours of sitting in meditation, I started freaking out {enter a whole lot of resistant thoughts here} and questioning this commitment I had made.

Was I really about to sit for one to two hours at time about 8 times a day AND not be able to speak to anyone!? I held it together and kept it moving and every day tried to give my best because I knew that if I left I'd only be walking away from and giving up on myself, not so much these other crazy people who want to meditate all day.

Everyday I surrendered a little bit more to the process but not one day of all ten were a breeze. Day 4 and 7 were especially challenging for me. Those days the resistance really hit me hard. {How was all this sitting around going to solve my problems!? I thought.} I feared the idea of finishing the retreat and not having all the right answers to move forward with my life.

I can only speak for myself but I know I'm not alone in this! There is this resistant energy within us all. A part of you that just won't deal with yourself head on, it looks away at the seemly uglier parts of yourself, its not willing to be uncomfortable past a certain point, it holds on tightly to blockages or emotions that don't serve you, it ego trips, and constantly keeps you for reaching and living your highest potential, your greatest truth. Let's face it, its the part of you that doesn't love yourself enough.

Before this retreat my meditation practice consisted of the following. After about 20 minutes I'd either get tired of sitting and "doing nothing", or I'd pleasantly feel some kind of accomplished and not go deeper, or at my worst get really frustrated with myself, as well as stagnancy in my life & in my practice.

 

This is the very reason why meditation should be uncomfortable. It's going to take a level of discomfort to surpass your resistance.

 

Not everyone made it through the end of this retreat. Even on day one people left and every day after 1-3 dropped like flies. Some are only willing to go but so far spiritually and do the deep inner work. I stayed and took on the choice to sit with my resistance and everything else on my heart & mind. So what did I uncover? NOTHING! Or as the meditation teacher repeated frequently, "perfect equanimity."

 

Everyday I sat with all my feelings and thoughts. They came or arouse, I noticed the thoughts and sensations in my body, and then I let them pass. I focused on my breath and didn't give into the emotions or thoughts that came. I accepted them as is and so they left, allowing me to enjoy continuous moments of peace, clarity, & emptiness.

See the thoughts, feelings, pains, & blockages don't just end. They continue to arise. {We've spent decades creating them}. Normally we fall out and trip over these things hold on to them thus magnifying their impact in our lives {more suffering}. With meditation we can bring awareness to our life and letting go allows for the pains & blockages to slowly fade and affect us less and less...allowing us to master & know peace.

I'd love to share more of my discoveries & experiences from learning vipassana, which means seeing things as they really are, with you.

It is our mind, and that alone, that chains us or sets us free.  -Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche