Why I Go On A Meditation Retreat

"年轻人,你那里想不开?!", an uncle said with a chuckle the moment our vow of silence is over. It roughly (crudely) translates to, "young man, what fxxked you up?!".

Call it a hasty decision, but I decided to went on a Vipassana meditation retreat hosted by Dharma.org, a non-profit organization aiming to spread the awareness and teachings of Vipassana Meditation.

Alittle background on Vipassana Meditation; a method made famous by the late S.N. Goenka. Quoting from Wikipedia, Goenka described Vipassana meditation as an experiential scientific practise, in which one observes the constantly changing nature of the mind and body at the deepest level, through which one gains a profound self-knowledge that leads to a truly happy and peaceful life.

As a romantic, I thought this is going to be me, this is me going to a meditation retreat, getting some grand realization of life, getting the answers. I thought this is a place where I would ultimately change for the better (which I did, but with ample room for improvement), I thought this is the place where I can prove to people that I'm different, that I can do things that normal people couldn't.

At the end of the session, numerous people started spewing their reasons, of whys, and I just sat there, wondering what have I put myself through. It was a breathtaking experience, literally, as I have fought breathlessness and anxiety, I battled insomnia, I faced hunger as I fast for 10 days. I did a lot of things that I thought I couldn't have done but I did anyway. I can proudly say that this is my absolute strength over my peers because I don't have any friends who is (stupid enough; as my then gf said), or even have the balls to put themselves through this.

Back home, I was the talk of the town for abit;
"Wow, I wish I could have done that"
"If only I can do that"
"I can't leave my phone"
"I have work, it is not easy"
"Wa, do they have a shorter course? I don't think I can do so long"

Perhaps it is the meditation, or it was my narcissism, or my dissonance to make it feel worth it, or it can be my new found clarity at filtering bullshit. All I hear are excuses.

Honestly, back then I thought I'd have all the answers, but I left the island with more to pounder. But the thoughts was priceless, it was something that money can't buy, it is also one hell of an experience and it is a VERY important part of the journey that the Universe has me to partake.

 

I. Felt. Alive.
*


Alas, this is what I'd written after the 10 days.
(Whilst feeling as fresh as I could);

Back to the real world again, trying to get things done. My 10 days holidays from life have proven it's worth where I felt I'm released from the very latch that holds me together.
Liberation at it's purest form? I definitely needed that, where I could feel my deepest part of me. It's when you get back when you realize that this world is drowning with so much toxicity.

I still have quite alot of things to backlog, and fingers crossed, that I'll try to get them done. My mind's still so overwhelmed. Everything seems so vibrant even though I didn't show it. Everyone is so amplified. Even the songs, the colours of everything I see. Life is so animated, the yellow screens yellow, like colours clawing itself out under the skies, the coffee felt so intense, the honking and white noise felt so loud. Everything is so overwhelming, and there's me; taking everything in silence.

It is nights like these where you felt your mind is in going to alot of places, fluttering thoughts, fleeting through places from where you'd been, to where you haven't. Time just seems to be another toll, the judgement of its neverending vivid ticking where it passes judgement, bringing you closer to death. We can never have all the pieces to our puzzle, for the last few would only come when we die. So we would have to learn to come into terms with it. That it'll all change. Bad things would not stay forever, yet all good things would have to come to an end. Nights where the music seems to orchestrate your goosebumps at will. You looked at how far you'd come, staring out at the starry abyss.

I'm frantically trying to stay afloat despite all the little I'd certainly changed. Definitely for the better. But then again where do I fit in now? Who can I talk about all these newfound insights to, and how can the new part of me cope with the world? The thoughts come in and out as I'd let them, as I battle through an existential crisis, depression, overwhelming thoughts, and I'll constantly remind myself that I'm alive.

***

Within my Singapore collection, one of my experiences is attending a Vipassana Meditation Retreat. It was quite intense, nothing like a vacation, but it was one of the best things that happened to me that I'll like to share.

Click here to read the rest of my meditation posts!
Click here to check out my day schedule where I'll share more photos and details.
Click here for my 10-day mental log.


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