Meditation and the monkey mind in Bali
17 Jan, 2012
I had the pleasure of recently interviewing a great guy who completed his third meditation retreat with a wonderful organization called Bali Usada meditation. Having participated in these meditation retreats myself, I was excited to hear his thoughts on the retreat.
How did you hear about Bali Usada and Tapa Brata meditation?
My partner had participated in Tapa Brata I twice.
Why did you decide to attend yourself?
I wanted to widen my perspective on life.
And what did you find?
Something very different than I expected (smile). It was not a simple, unguided meditation. I discovered a way to heal myself, both physically and emotionally.
You gained all that knowledge from your first experience?
Oh no, my first experience of Tapa Brata was something else! I came to the resort and at 5am on the first morning I sat in half lotus position in so much pain. ‘Noble Silence’ had already begun so after the meditation I wrote a note “This is not meditation, it’s torture. I will not continue!” and promptly went back to my room! I stayed in the resort and loosely practiced a form of meditation I learned in India and respected the ‘Noble Silence’. On the last night, after silence had been broken, participants were asked to speak about their experiences. The organizers suggested I come to listen. The speeches moved me so much that I promised myself that I would attend the next course and experience the whole ‘nine yards’!
So what happened when you then went on to experience the entire Tapa Brata I course?
At first physical pain, particularly in my legs for the first three days, while trying to concentrate on my breathing. On Day 4 we began to be guided part by part through our bodies experiencing the impermanence of that feeling (or Anicca). The physical pain was actually releasing a lot of emotional energy and past trauma. You could actually use the physical discomfort to focus.
And what about staying silent throughout?
Pure luxury in a world where small talk is so cheap, life is so busy and egos are so huge.
Did you make eye contact or smile at anyone?
Sometimes there was a moment, a fleeting glance which said ‘Yeap, we’re all in the same boat”! I actually got a few daggers thrown at me as I’d persuaded a friend to join too. He thought is was a ‘spa’ and was fuming but by the end of the week he gave one of the most humorous speeches ever.
On completion of Tapa Brata I what was your overall feeling both physically and emotionally?
I felt very light, almost like my feet didn’t touch the ground. I’d released some old trauma and I felt blessed to have this tool to use to heal myself.
So 1 year later and you decided to return. What happened in-between?
Normal life. I stopped meditating and became lazy. I saw some of my own negative patterns returning so I decided it was time to remind myself of the meditation and its benefits. Saint Paul said, “The body is the temple of your spirit.” I thought it was about time I cleaned out the temple!
And how was this experience?
It was easier to concentrate; you know why you’re simply focusing on breathing in and out through the nose and what’s in store.
You were in a different resort this time, Prana Dewi Resort. What can people expect there?
Prana Dewi is a beautiful peaceful resort in the rice paddies. They grow their own red rice and organic vegetables, which you eat. The food is amazing!
Any final comments before signing off?
There should be more people in this world like Pak Merta Ada (founder of Bali Usada and meditation teacher) who just want to help others.
Albert Schweitzer, missionary of compassion and the founder of the Red Cross said:
“ Leaving the world to the unwise egotism is like a valley that lies in the dark. Only up at the highest peaks is the light. Everybody has to live in darkness; only one can go up to see the light, the human being. The human has the impulse to help, he is sick when he does not feel it.”
You do meditation to help yourself to create a harmonious mind. It helps you to be nicer to others and keeps a healthy mind and body too in a world where the majority are chasing money and power.
Any advice for anyone thinking of entering Tapa Brata meditation?
Go and surrender. Do not attach any preconceptions of what you think might happen…just experience.
For more information on joining Bali Usada’s Tapa Brata Meditation http://www.balimeditation.com/
If you’d like to hear about how we’ll incorporate meditation practices into our luxury meditation retreats please contact us at: