My “Post every day in June” kinda fell apart. But only over the weekend and I have a good excuse: it was the weekend. I write best on my couch, at night, while watching Friends re-runs. This weekend was filled with so many distractions that did not allow me to sit on my couch and watch Friends. They were great distractions, but distractions none-the-less.
This post is dedicated to one of those distractions.
On Saturday, I went to an all day silent mindfulness meditation retreat (that was a mouthful). If I had to sum it up in one word, that word would be: interesting.
It started at 9:00 am and went until 4:00 pm. We had to be silent THE WHOLE TIME, even during our lunch break. (I wrote my next post during my lunch break and planned out the rest of my posts for June). The only people allowed to talk were the 4 instructors as they guided us through different mindfulness activities/meditations.
FUN FACT: laying down + soothing voices = sleepy time.
I fell asleep a few times and may have been snoring during one of those times. WHOOPS. However, I was not alone. We got to debrief at the end and the other people I spoke with had the same exact problem.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of the day: When I got there I saw that the mats were SUPER close together. Like no space in between. That made me nervous: small spaces, strangers real close to me. No thank you. But I did it anyway and there was more room than I originally thought. Next, we did a body scan, noticing the sensations in our bodies one sections at a time. The purpose of a body scan is not to fix anything, but just notice and let it go. *cue Frozen*
We did a few moving meditations. My form of “moving meditation” is little yoga movements. NOT HERE! A few of the movements, including a walking meditation, were giving me Theater Major movement class flashbacks. I was VERY aware when I was doing these exercises.
The one I loved the most was the kindness and compassion meditation. I love a good mantra and this exercise had some great ones. First we focused on a person (or being) who brought us joy. Then we focused on someone in the room. Then we focused on ourselves. We (silently in our heads) chanted and repeated these four mantras: May I peaceful, May I be safe, May I be healthy, May I live at ease. (When we focused on others we said “you” instead of “I”). Out of all the exercises we did I will be continuing to do this one.
What did I learn about myself from this day? Not a whole lot. Did I have a great experience doing this retreat? It was alright. Did I enjoy it? Yeah. Would I do this again? Not voluntarily. Am I glad I went? Absolutely.
Would you ever go to a full day silent mindfulness meditation retreat? Have you? What was your experience?