I don’t talk about it much, but my meditation practice has been an important part of my life for years, since my first meditation retreat in India. I wasn’t even sure whether to start writing about it here. For some people, the notion of a meditation retreat is alien, or a bit scary. Visions of monks chanting for hours in a dim candle-lit temple in Tibet pop to mind. The relevance to everyday modern life is questioned. Resistance may arise.
But at the same time, I want to share the importance of meditation, for each of us personally, and for the wider world.
The first time I sat in silence at a meditation retreat and glimpsed the inside of my mind, I wanted to leap up and run out of the room! It was mayhem in there!! But over the weeks and years, I learned to “become the watcher” and just observe all those crazy thoughts and emotions passing by like clouds. I learned that if I got caught up in a train of thought, I could drop it and gently come back to the breath. Time and time again. Eventually, I learned to sit for hours.
As we meditate, we find ourselves becoming more patient and more compassionate. (That’s why I believe meditation is the most incredible parenting tool around!) Just a few minutes on the cushion on a regular basis can have a profound effect. I really see the difference in my capacity to support my children and their emotions throughout the day based on whether I meditated the previous day or not! A meditation retreat allows us to go even deeper. If the chaos we see in the world today reflects our own inner chaos, meditation shows us a gentle pathway forward as a society to a kinder way of living.
When people ask me how to start meditating, I often say that the most important thing is to start! Books and courses continue to proliferate on how to meditate. It’s easy to procrastinate, preferring to read more, learn more, listen to more podcasts. But some basic instruction is more than sufficient – what is important is the practice. The discipline of sitting daily or as often as we can manage it, for whatever length of time we can manage.
Whether we are new to meditation or have a long-standing practice, a meditation retreat can provide new inspiration for our practice.
Why not come for a personal meditation retreat at Eco Retreats? Guests at Eco Retreats can book a private meditation session/s in the comfort of their own living space, tailored to their own intentions and experience of meditation. People often tell us it is the best part of their stay! – and it’s a great way to start if you’ve never experienced anything like it before. Call us today to have a chat about it!