I just completed a 10 day silent meditation retreat.
Roughly two weeks ago I emailed the SammyD TV subscriber list with the crazy announcement that I was participating in a 10 day silent meditation retreat called Vipassana with good friend and fellow positive energy advocate Melissa Escaro of Melissaescaro.com and the best-selling book on happiness & mindset resetting, In10ions.
As Buddha said himself, the practice is to help serve the goal that “May All Beings Be Happy.”
I want you to be happy, and I want you to learn more about these retreats so that if you decide the experience is right for you, one of the centers 15 locations in North America may be where you head for your next trip.
7 Secrets I Learned About Myself & Life from 90 Hours of Meditation
1. You can be happily silent for 9 full days.
In other words, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. To be quite honest with you, my monkey mind found itself playing songs (I apparently have a juke box up there) to fill the void of silence. The mind’s constant chatter filled the silence since I wasn’t busy listening or speaking myself. The experience of silence showed me how, truly, the voice which is always with me is my own mind.
2. I truly prefer being a morning person.
And I mean … a morning person. We were asked to wake up everyday at 4AM to prepare for 4:30 group meditation. The meditation was technically optional, but my body quickly adjusted to the schedule and I found myself excited for the sacred stillness of the 4:30-6:30AM hours. The best part? Seeing the sun rise every morning.
3. I have a lot of guilt.
I never realized until this retreat just how much my mind tells me to go do things for others because it’s my “responsibility to be a loving, compassionate and giving person.” Which yes … is true. But my mind started calling me out on “not keeping up with old relationships” and failing to “text that person back” before stepping into the retreat. It was a critical voice triggering guilt that “I wasn’t doing enough for my friends and family.” The practice of Vipassana helps to eradicate the negative energy of the mind (more on that during the video Q&A), and so I was grateful to be a witness of these thoughts and through the technique, begin the purification process to limit their existence entirely.
4. My cravings are sexy 😉
In meditation we either have “aversions” (negative feelings) or “cravings” (positive feelings toward wants). And let me tell you, dear powerful, beautiful and special reader … my cravings were sexy i.e. S.E.X. Yup. I said it! I had a lot of sexy time in my mind during meditation. I know exactly why (I’m dating someone new, yahoo!) but the fact that my mind decided to fill up the meditation time with THAT … well oh my, I had no idea. I guess I’m more sexy than I know.
5. Loss of control is a huge trigger.
On the retreat we received a limited number of meals (more on that during the video Q&A) and only access to walking paths a few hours a day. We were asked not to run outside or do anything “acrobatic” in nature, including yoga. For someone who runs 20 miles and swims 3 miles a week AND eats whenever and however she wants, this loss of control was a major trigger. At one point I found myself counting my calories and fantasizing (i.e. having a craving) about going on a 10 mile run to burn it all off. Of course anyone would be bothered by these circumstances, but my mind became obsessive, which is just further awareness that in the arena of fitness and food, I am attached to control.
6. You eat a lot of food when not speaking to people over meals.
On day 9 we were allowed to speak to our fellow attendees. Well, the before-we-spoke-meals were plates packed full of food which was almost always eaten in its entirety. The while-we-spoke-meals? A few of us noticed how we a.) didn’t eat as fast and b.) didn’t eat as much since we were speaking and interacting with one another between bites. Aha! Awareness that when eating by ourselves, we eat more. Interesting, no?
7. It’s easy to pass surface level judgement when not actually speaking to a person.
The men and women were separated within the confines / dining hall of the building. So obviously, ladies began checking out ladies and passing surface level judgements without having actually “spoken” to them. I never thought I’d be one of those judgement-making girls, but lo and behold! One woman in particular seemed to be a “mean girl” to me, and after a few “non verbal, non contact” and all strictly observation encounters with her, I decided she “must not be very nice.” Wrong! When I later spoke to her (Meg!) on Day 9, she ended up being one of the funniest, kindest, most real women I had the chance to meet during the retreat.
PLUS: We must never stop doing the inner-work to reflect the best in our outer-world.
I have been meditating for five years and I can honestly say my world has changed for the better due to the focus and attention I’ve put on creating a practice of stillness and serenity for myself. Vipassana goes much deeper (again, more on that during the video Q&A!) and truly gives us a tool to help end our own suffering and that of others. Vipassana reminded me that without helping myself first, I cannot help others. Without feeling at ease myself, I cannot make anyone else feel at ease. Without setting aside time to create happiness by me for me, I cannot be the source of happiness and joy in anyone else’s experience. It all.comes.back.to.me. So in order to have peace in my outer world, I get to continue to do the work to create peace in my inner world first.
How to Know if Vipassana is Right for You?
The Vipassana Meditation Retreat was an unbelievable experience beyond anything Melissa and I had EVER experienced. Because there is so much to share, Melissa and I decided to host a 100 percent free and 100 percent honest Google hangout Q&A session to answer any of your questions you have about Vipassana and to share more behind our personal experiences and how you can sign up for this life changing experience.We welcome any question big or small and ask that if interested, you sign up to ask a question by clicking here and sharing your question and email address in this Google form.
Don’t have a question? Still head on over to the form to share your email address so you can receive the link to this exclusive Q&A hangout. In other words: You can only watch it if you sign up!
We will answer all questions on the hangout at 8PM EST on Sunday, May 10.
Sign up with your email below to receive the LIVE video link before and after it airs so you hear what we had to say.
Want to learn more about Melissa’s experience at Vipassana? Head over to her blog post “The 411 on My Silent Meditation Retreat” to learn her side of the spectrum, and don’t miss out on signing up for her newsletter to receive her weekly In10ions messages (seriously — they are awesome).
Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think would benefit from learning about this donation-only experience in the world of enlightenment through meditation. With 15 centers in North America, there’s bound to be the right sanctuary for you or someone you love.
We can’t wait for you to watch our Q&A!
Until then, keep shining your light and working on yourself – the world needs you.