Monday, April 13, 2009
Sitting In Slience, Inside & Out....For 10 Days!
"Into the Wild" movie, watch it...
There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonley shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar,
I love not man the less, but Nature more...
Less is more. Simple is pure. Solitude is profound. Nature is the Law.
Ever since I heard about "Vipassana", an international & universal "TRUTH" taught in a 10 Day Silent Self Mastery Mind Meditation Retreat, I wanted to go. Badly.
To simply and soulfully explore the inner essence of my mind (the concious & sub consious: that is the most powerful tool in the world), without the countless distractions and cravings of society to examine my past, my present and my future. To ask the question that is on everyones mind 'whats life all about?'. The end result of this retreat is to deepen relationships with others as well as within yourself in the serene silence of nature to literally step out of society, and step into the wild.
Like my childhood idol Ferris Bullur said durring his famous 'Day Off' movie that "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to look around now and then, you might just miss it."
Like most peoples experience, its VERY easy to get caught up in the maddness of the mission, what ever that may be: work, school, family, ect.
The past 10 years have been pretty much non-stop for me after graduating high school, college, intense basketball scheduals, working crappy jobs - then starting my own business, TONS of travelling, relationship challenges & dramas while striving to be the best dad I can be raising an incredible 5 year old son and doing my small part to make the workd a better place, ect ect.
However, LEARNING LIFE LESSONS 101 while walking down the path of life on a road less traveled is not always an easy journey, but it is a nessicary one non the less. Don't you think?
I feel like NOW is time to STOP! And sit in silence for at this 10 day challenge...
So, I am heading into the 'wild' while checking out of 'society' and checking into the 'silence' at this retreat center...
-no phones, no internet (or Facebook), no TV (not that I ever watch that thing anyway) and no talking!
*For 10 DAYS!*
WOW! that makes me smile just thinking about it...I can't wait. I also feel fearful like I am going into a prison...and even paying to go...weird huh? Haha
You may be thinking I am crazy to do this, and thats ok. BUT, I think that people that spend there life running with the rats in the rat race routine of society and never stoping to take a look around or even inside themselves...are crazy.
So, here we are, both insane in our own way I guess.
I have gone to ALOT of Personal Development conferences & workshops...I even went to a few meditation retreats in Thialand & Israel...BUT...this is on a WHOLE NEW LEVEL for me....
*10 days of silence: inside-and-out*
And to tell you the truth: I am kind of nervous. Regardless, I am heading down to Portland for this 'self mastery mission' this week.
Here is my 10 day schedual, everyday is the same:
4:00 a.m.---------------------Morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 a.m.----------------Meditate in the hall or in your room
6:30-8:00 a.m.----------------Breakfast break
8:00-9:00 a.m.----------------Group meditation in the hall
9:00-11:00 a.m.---------------Meditate in the hall or in your room
according to the teacher's instructions
11:00-12:00 noon--------------Lunch break
12noon-1:00 p.m.--------------Rest, and interviews with the teacher
1:00-2:30 p.m.----------------Meditate in the hall or in your room
2:30-3:30 p.m.----------------Group meditation in the hall
3:30-5:00 p.m.----------------Meditate in the hall or in your room
according to the teacher's instructions
5:00-6:00 p.m.----------------Tea break
6:00-7:00 p.m.----------------Group meditation in the hall
7:00-8:15 p.m.----------------Teacher's Discourse in the hall
8:15-9:00 p.m.----------------Group meditation in the hall
9:00-9:30 p.m.----------------Question time in the hall
10pm Lights out.
What is Vipassana meditation?
Meditation aims at the highest spiritual goals of total liberation and full enlightenment; its purpose is never simply to cure physical disease. However, as a by-product of mental purification, many psychosomatic diseases are eradicated. In fact, Vipassana eliminates the three causes of all unhappiness: craving, aversion and ignorance. With continued practice, the meditation releases the tensions developed in everyday life, opening the knots tied by the old habit of reacting in an unbalanced way to pleasant and unpleasant situations...it is also a non denominational, non religious and non sectorial practice that does not interfere with or promote any certian belief or religious ritual.
Here are my last words caught on video (this guy Dustin is HILARIOUS!):
10 days later:
I did it! 'The Art of Living' 10 days on the inside...complete.
I don't even know where to begin in even starting to explian the experience. How can one put a complete introspective 10 day internal adventure into a few sentences and due a trip like this justice?
I guess the only thing I can do is break it down day by day:
Day 1: Met another younger guy from Vancouver named Justin and shot a video before we went in. He has gone 4 times to this retreat. He said he loves and hates it at the same time. Truer words could not be spoken to summerize the course. After we are instructed of the rules by my Teacher Goenka
to abstain from killing any being,
to abstain from stealing;
to abstain from all sexual activity;
to abstain from telling lies;
to abstain from all intoxicants.
to abstain from eating after midday (fasting)
to abstain from sensual entertainment and bodily decoration;
to abstain from using high or luxurious beds
The frirst day was incredibly long! Remember, I usually wake up around 10:30 am (I love working from home!) A lound "GONG" was struck repeadidly outside my room at
4am. Ouch. Waking up in the dark is NOT my favoriate thing to do in the world. I stumble to the go ot the Meditation hall in my pajamas from 4-6am to sit painfully still, in silence. Then breakfast 6-7am. Fall back asleep from
7-8. 8-9 back to meditation hall. 9-11 free time: walk the trails in nature, I saw deer and a snake that totatally freaked me out, I am like Indiana Jones in that respect, I hate snakes. 11-12 lunch. 12-2 rest. 2-4 in the hall. 5 tea time. 7-9'Teaching Time' Dharma Talk. Bed. BIZZARE dreams, very bizzare all week acutally.
Then repeat day 1 for 10 days in a row. The ultimate Ground Hog Day series. The days just blended together with no concept of time or dates.
However on the 5th day I kind of freaked out. I was impressed that the past 5 days were complete, then I realized I was only half done and still had 5 more to go. A few people left early. One guy who had been smoking 2 packs a day stayed the whole time and gave up smoking completely!
It was unreal the thoughts, the memories, and the people that come up in your mind when you have an abundance of time to just sit and think. I have such a profound respect for the power of the mind and the memory. I watched an entire movie of my life in my mind, in extreme detail: every person who impacted my life, every place I visited or lived, like it all happened yesterday. Vivid is an understatment.
After we were allowed to speak agian, I exploded. I felt I was getting high on the emotion of talking, blabbing like a mad man. We were all just laughing and levitating. The people that were there were from all walks of life, different backgrounds and religions. Myself being a Christian, it was really cool to connect and learn from other people in other faiths and backgrounds that attended this open retreat as well.
The "After" Video. I remembered how to talk :) unfortunatly camera batery died after 49 seconds...
All in all it was VERY profound, powerful & productive 10 day journey within. I HIGHLY recommend that EVERYONE do at least ONE retreat in their life. So put it on your lifes to do list. Its personal development on a verrrrry personal level. I am gonna make a point to do it at least one per year to go into the wild...
"Society, you crazy breed, I hope your not loney, without me & have mercy on me".
See you in the wild my friends, on the "inside" of society. For more info on taking a retreat near you, check out www.dhamma.org
"Remember, the answers we all seek are not only 'out there'. The greatest mystery of them all may be right inside our minds." Says Your 'Beyond Freedom' Program...(don't have your 90 Day Beyond Freedom Program? Go to www.ActionAttractionPro.com & request info on were to get it. Now go out and LIVE!