I confess to being a bit behind the ball, what with a 7-day silent retreat stacked right before Christmas stacked right before New Year’s. What’s a writer of Minutes of Mindfulness to do??
Even now, I still feel myself stumbling out of the deep Silence that held me during my 7-day ‘power-down’.
Many of you have expressed a curious interest in what actually goes down on a Silent Meditation retreat. In one way or another, I’ve often tried to convey how I consider retreats quite possibly the best thing one can do for oneself. And something definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life.
In fact, my old high-school mate, Dave, joined me on this particular retreat, having no prior meditation experience whatsoever. Afterwards he texted me to acknowledge, much to his surprise, how nice he was behaving towards utter strangers. Hmmm.
If you’re curious to learn more about retreats and such, please watch this short 10 minute video clip with the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Joseph Goldstein. Joseph, in his crystal-clear way, explains what one can expect to get out of a retreat experience. Watch here!
If you’re motivated to give it a go yourself, consider attending one of the many excellent retreats held at IMS, www.dharma.org
Lastly, the New Year is just around the corner. A time of hopeful aspirations that somehow this year will turn out differently!
Well, one way to make this year truly different is to commit to a meditation resolution. A friend of mine, Gibran, is hosting an on-line community of practitioners that you can join here: http://28daypractice.tumblr.com/
The basic idea is to commit to sitting for some period of time (could be 5 minutes) everyday for 28 days in January, and then to keep rolling from there. I’ve found the on-line support to be tremendously helpful.
In fact, I may roll out my own meditation challenge, commit-to-sit, in the early New Year, too. Stay tuned.
Originally published on December 29, 2010