I knew that nature was always inviting us to be as present as we could. One of the aha moments from going back and forth to several retreats through all these years is that I don’t need to wait until the next retreat to experience peace. Right there in that moment the universe was giving me the opportunity to be at peace, to be present and surrendered to what was happening. It doesn’t mean that I don’t actively try to avoid hazards and drive carefully. On the contrary but a sense of serenity and knowingness comes by being attentive and present with my surroundings. So I experienced the benefits of the retreat starting to pop into my awareness already.
The reason I love going to meditation retreats is to recharge my batteries. Even though I practice daily meditation, there is some urge from my body to rest and withdraw from the busy world. It’s hard not to have expectations every time I go back. My special thoughts that fly by are: Am I conscious enough? Will any unresolved issues surface in the retreat? Will I get judged for not teaching enough people? I notice that the common denominator is “me”. So I let the thoughts be there and try not to pay much attention.
The beauty of being in a retreat with 90 people wanting the same thing… such as: to explore the space, peace and see how the mind works–is that it becomes obvious where I am putting my attention. In other words, it allows me to see what I am holding onto or what I am “believing” to be real and when I am following a pattern of thought.
The more I dive into the program each day, the more the resistance to participate in life dissipates. Let’s be honest, how hard is it to follow this program:
- 7 am - Yoga
- 8 am - Breakfast
- 9 am -Meditation and meeting
- 12 pm - Lunch
- 1 pm – Meditation
- 5 pm - Yoga
- 6 pm - Dinner
- 7 pm - Meeting
Being in an environment where people don’t care about how much money you make a year or what your next career move is gives me space to remember why I am here on this planet. It is easy for me to go back to all habits and forget that I am here to live life at it’s fullest. Yes, I am interested in having a good job and a good roof to sleep at night. But if I don’t nourish the fire inside me that wants more in life, to wake up from Samsara, then the old tendencies will start to resurrect.
Again, I don’t need to go to a retreat to be grounded in the stillness but if I have an opportunity I won’t miss it for anything in the world. I want to be the change I want to see in the world.
Keep it simple,