My first meditation retreat
My first meditation retreat in 2003
In 2003 I made my first Goenka Vipassana meditation retreat in a small place called Dharamkot in North India. I remembered that the days before the withdrawal, I practised being silent with a friend of mine, we failed after 15 minutes. Before my first retreat, the scariest part was ten days, no talking.
Strangely enough, ten days, not talking, was the easiest thing to do. Sitting on cushions on the floor was far more difficult. After a while during the retreat. I had a mountain of pillows to sit on.
A new world started to open up during this retreat. Being aware of the smallest thing crawling around like ants, how amazing and beautiful they are. The nerves of leaves, the sound of the wind touching leaves of the trees. The smell of the soil and trees. A new world was unfolding, what was never lost but never was seen.
The Inner world
The opening of the door to the inner world with all my thoughts and patterns. Most of these thoughts are very repetitive. Thoughts about things that happen many years ago or ideas about the future. In truth, we always carry these thoughts with us without knowing it. Even now, when writing this article, I become aware of mind saying multiple times I need some sweets.
The inner world has so many things to say so many insights and so many stories and most of the time; we are not aware of it. Most of the time our mind is directed to do something in the future, or our mind is preoccupied with the past, and as a result, we are never standing still and never seeing what we need.
In this world, with so many distractions, we need to learn again how to rest our exhausted mind. So we can remember and reflect on our lives and what we need in our life.
For me, the result of this retreat in 2003 was the beginning of a more profound journey into the self, and many many retreats followed first into Vipassana, later on into Kriya Yoga (a form of meditation), Laya Yoga meditation, hatha yoga, Self Inquiry and Dzogchen.
Self-inquiry is my daily practice together with some new teachings about Dzogchen. The one thing I know there is no moment of dullness in Meditation. It goes deeper and deeper, and it is expansive awareness without any centre without any reference inclusive of everything. In this open moving awareness, there is stillness, joy, wonderment, openness, calmness a feeling of being peaceful centred.
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