Thursday, August 25, 2011
Buffetting : Retreat!
Okay so the past ten days was like, a heck of a roller coaster ride for the mind.
I was in a retreat!
WHAT???!!! (WTF is THAT?!!!!)You need help go counseling or something la!You are still so young!
Uh, its more like self-discovery and development, so no one but yourself can help.
So anyways, lets bust some myths before I proceed to the experience.
Myth#1: Meditation retreats are for old hags!!!!
Busted: Actually, apart from the 3 jokers like us who went there are in our 20s, there were 2 more dudes. Apparently, one of them has already went for 3 retreats previously, and he graduated from Imperial College, Chem Engineering. Not so the-old-people hor?
*whisper* its for despo people la. Apparently, there are also retreats for young kids in their teens, 13 onwards.
Myth#2: It's like living in a jungle with caveman facilities!!!!
Busted: I was living in the jungle, but the facilities sure tops the ones we can even get in the metropolis in KL. No weird stains or foul smell,great air-conditioned rooms, great halls, and seriously, what's better to have a house in the scent of nature?
Myth#3: You probably eat like only grass, or probably grass-like food only!!!
Busted: The whole hermitage is supported by the fund of town folks or devotees who practices Dhana(Pali word for giving), so the monk and yogis(meditation practitioners) takes in what we are given. Curry, stewed pork, eggs and all you name in I've eaten them. Though vegetables do take a larger portion of the buffet table. Plus, the monk order never said they can't take meat, its some weird law created byMahayanese Buddhism I think.
Okay I manage to think of 3 myths till now, so I guess more will come when I do explanations.
So back to why was I doing there. Well, the Monkey J and Dog T wanna go for it, and since I'm the next joker in line who is practicing the Dhamma with them, I too signed up for this.
It was a 10 days retreat, and since we were beginners we are given the privilege to stay together in a kuti(Pali word for hut).
3 of us block heads thought that it was gonna blissful, yet little do we know, the pain behind the meditation is just, yeah.
I wouldn't go to the details, probably bore you out because of the differences in out mentalities.
But one thing is for sure, its really an eye-opener.
The whole point of going for a meditation is to know yourself, or more like your mind.
Yea, people out there will tell me,
"Omgee you don't even know your mind??!!! LOSER!!!!"
Yea, wait till you try the meditation out for yourself.
Day 1: We started out later at 6 because of check in and all sorts. 1 hour of sitting and standing and we hit 8pm for Dhamma talk.
Day 2: The mind start to fuzzle because of the biological clock adjusting. Sleep at 10pm and wake up call at 4am ain't as easy as it sounds, even it was a 6 hours sleep. The questions of "Why the Blocks Am I Doing Here???!!!" repeated in the head during each sitting and walking. Unwholesome thoughts of giving up arose, but my job was to just take not.
Day 3: Things settled but the thinking never stopped, because that is the nature of the mind. Walking was fun because the mind can note lotsa stuffs including the left and right walking, lifting and dropping, the sensation felt on the floor, the noting of thinking was easy and unclinging myself from the thinking and back to walking was a breeze. Sitting, however was tiring because the objects to notice were so vague. The rising and falling of the abdomen and the sensation of the body were hardly anywhere close to CLEAR and mind wandering is just so easy.
Day 4-Day 8: Interviews were held and questions were asked. Same ol same ol. Walking gets easier by the day and more sensations were felt. However, sitting was getting harder, and the noting of the pain on the body during sitting could only last maximum for 7 minutes. Thinking still comes in, and sometimes almost half of the sitting was spent on singing mind.
Day 9: A day before hitting home was surely exciting. But I wasn't really hyped up because of the matters I would need to deal with again after the retreat. The thinking on both walking and sitting became much more intense, noting them seemed to be even tougher compared o the past 5 days. Yet, it is the nature of the mind, and Bhante(Pali word for teacher) told us to accept the way, hence I allowed the thinking, with an extra effort to note them when thoughts arise.
Day 10: The final day, mindfulness somehow was harder to conceal, probably because of the desire to pull ourselves from the retreat already. Had a great time talking about Dhamma with Bhante and Sister Ivy about mentalities and beliefs. I was glad to come for the retreat.
I wouldn't say it was a pleasant period, because the effort you need to just notice your mind and watch them, accepting them as the way it is by NATURE is truly immense.
Seriously, I wouldn't be able to express these experience by typing, because the whole experience was so hands on, people need to have the urgency to come and see for themselves.
It truly reflects the true nature of our minds, in which they resonate so closely with scientific explanations.
The meeting of conditions, action and reaction, impermanence.
It's like physics,chemistry and biology class all over again.
Well, as far as I'm concerned, it was an enlightening experience.
Still far from my own Enlightenment, but I will strive hard.
Probably a 10 days retreat every sem break for 5 yrs in med school.
Crazy? Well, at least the creatures in the retreat ain't as harmful as the human out here, with all their absurdities they have in their minds.
Well, time to be back with reality. IELTS post soon.