Why a silent meditation retreat is better than a face lift.
29 Feb, 2012
Before 1 week Meditation Retreat
After 1 week Meditation Retreat
Having just completed a silent meditation retreat in Bali, I step back into the world of chatter, traffic and super connectivity. What better way to start typing again than by sharing my personal experience with all you Soul Sanctuaries blog readers. Since I do like to talk a bit (ok a lot!) in everyday life, most of my friends focused on the hilarious thought of me being quiet for one week. Let me tell you, that’s the luxurious part.
This was the third time I entered Bali Usada’s Meditation Retreat, entitled Tapa Brata I, Health Meditation. It’s a seven day, six night Bali Meditation Retreat. It’s situated on the way up towards the mountains, before Bedugal and it’s set within a breathtakingly beautiful valley. The cottages fringe lotus ponds and tiered rice fields, which are cultivated in the traditional way by hand pulled oxen.
I’d participated in Tapa Brata I twice before but hadn’t been for quite some time. I have some minor health issues and was also letting even small challenges disrupt my daily life so my soul mate told me I needed a well earned retreat. Of course, he forgot to remind me that it’s not exactly the same as sitting on a deck chair with a cocktail! It is however, an experience in which you can learn to heal yourself both physically and emotionally.
Each experience is very different so I tried not to have expectations. The first few days involve calming the ‘monkey mind’. Anyone thinking of doing this, make a note, don’t listen to music you don’t want to hear in your head on repeat for days on end. As much as I love Adele, I had her singing at me inside off and on for two days! Your mind tends to jump from one subject to another in an effort not to calm and allow past traumas to release. However, once my mind seemed to put on the brakes, I allowed some mildly painful life episodes arise and release (it’s all about none attachment and releasing the everything is in perpetual change). This meditation teaches you to observe the physical aches as part of the process. I definitely didn’t want to get attached to a ache in my right leg at one point, but when it disappeared I felt a wonderful sense of calm and wellbeing.
By mid week, with a lot of meditation under my belt, my harmonious mind appeared (off and on). We were then taught how to go through the body part by part and feel both the outer and inner self. I felt a wonderful re-connection between body and soul. During sickness, I tend to moan at my body “Why are you doing this to me, you’re ruining my day!”. I learned to understand again that everything in myself and life is impermanent or Anicca.
Pak Merta Ada, founder of Usada Health Meditation and renowned healer, joins each retreat on Day 3 and gives every participant a personal consultation. He’s formerly recognized symptoms within me, so I was confident he’d be able to assist with my current hormonal craziness. Able to scan and see peoples sickness is Pak Merta’s wonderful gift but I think even better is his ability to teach you to heal your own sickness and traumas. You can tangibly see the benefits in your everyday life very quickly, which then gives you the encouragement to continue meditating after the retreat ends.
Towards the end of the retreat, instructions for a ‘Loving Kindness’ meditation are given. This acts like a blissful balm over all the trauma release and allows you to offer out love and happiness to yourself and all those around you.
May all being be happy!
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