Retreat Envy

Published in Meditation / Personal - 2 mins to read

Today Ted is embarking on a [three week meditation retreat.] I’m not 100% sure but I beleive it’s a silent one, so he won’t be saying anything for the whole time, and will only have minimal communication with the teachers on the retreat. The idea of sitting, not doing, not speaking, simply being all day every day for three weeks both terrifies me and fills me with envy. I would be terrified of the discomfort, a little physical but primarily mental, that would arise from being stuck with my thoughts for that long. I’d know myself so much better by the end of it, and it’s easy to feel like I wouldn’t like what I found if I peeled back the layers of my psyche. Is there any outcome for my fractured attention span and three weeks of no distractions other than disaster? How much of the time would I spend profoundly sad, quietly crying while everyone else sits with closed eyes and crossed legs around me?

But maybe the opposite is true. Maybe I would find deep joy, perhaps by pushing past all the discomfort I would feel serene and peaceful, perhaps I would feel a strong sense of love and compassion for myself once everything else had been stripped away. In that sense, the fact that I am choosing to keep living my meditation-retreat-free life seems like an obvious error, as indeed it is that I allow myself to be distracted from simply existing by so many things.

I can’t wait to hear all about his experience, and strongly suspect it will give me the final iota of motivation I need to book myself onto a weekend retreat somewhere.