I finally made it, I attended a (very) short meditation retreat and tasted what it feels like to be in a room full of people meditating. It has been an eye-opening experience.
The first five minutes were amazing, I felt completely free and relaxed. After a while though, physical and — most importantly — mental discomfort started to creep in. It felt very difficult to concentrate, and instead of letting things go, and bringing my attention back to the object of meditation, I started struggling and beating myself up for being unable to concentrate and follow the teacher’s instructions.
It all ended in me having to leave the retreat halfway through with a splitting headache and nausea. But strongly determined to try again and again, until I can let go of the ‘I-want-to-get-this-right’ mindset.
I’ve decided I’ll try to practice some of the techniques the teacher explained for 5-10 minutes at the time, every day if possible. Once I feel comfortable with this, I’ll add a few minutes and hopefully arrive prepared at the next one-day retreat, which will be in autumn.
I hope yoga will help me too, my practice has had ups and downs, but I don’t want to give it up as it makes my life much better. And it’s so easy to practice from home thanks to the youtube videos.
By the way, the same people who organised this Vipassana retreat are organising a course of ‘yoga in the park’ for next month, which I’d love to attend (if work allows me to).
All in all, this first experience with Vipassana has been positive, as it has taught me my limits, and how I need to change in order to embrace this practice in full.
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