Several weeks ago I attended a weekend long meditation retreat at a beautiful location in the Catskill Mountains of NY state called The Peace Village.
The retreat was incredible. It was focused on finding inner peace and inner power, and the method to get us there was appropriately through meditation. For about 36 hours or so I and the other 50+ attendants were in classes that talked about the power of meditation, how to connect to your source, or God… and the power that comes with ritualizing a meditation practice.
Now I have been practicing meditation pretty diligently for about 3 years and some change. Meditation is the ONE thing that I give the most credit to drastically changing my life and my spiritual connection. It was something that I had tried during crisis and it didn’t stick. But when I came back to meditation a few months later, with a wonderful teacher, it did stick. I was very lucky.
The past year has been a wonderful year for me and for my meditation practice because I have been fortunate enough to spend several days at a time at retreats. The first time I visited Peace Village in 2016 I felt amazing at the end of the weekend. I felt like I was floating. I had learned so much and felt so calm and blissful that I was almost intimidated to get back into the real world.
However you always take yourself with you… so when you show up to your life after a weekend of meditation, happiness, serenity… you bring that into your life.
This is precisely why we meditate.
It reseals our connection to the Universe, it enhances our connection to our spirit, and to our God.
Several weeks after my first retreat, I was thrown into another one! This time for a few days more and with far less people. The experience was with my meditation teacher, davidji, at a retreat he was hosting in the Adirondack mountains – where I lived!
This time, after 4 days of incredible healing, deep meditation and powerful insights, I felt a little less prepared to go back home. Most of us at the retreat center felt similar. Being in this place was like being a perfect little bubble where nothing really went wrong. I think I was the last person to leave the campus, hanging onto the memories that were created there.
But what I’ve noticed is this…
Retreats are amazing tools, and they should be used as that, as a tool you occasionally pull out when you need to recharge.
Meditation is a tool. For me, it’s a tool I use every morning for about 20 minutes, sometimes more in the evening too.
A few days ago I was listening to the work of Esther Hicks and Abraham. This material is channeled and a question about meditation and monasteries was brought up. The question was about what I experienced. The difference in environment between what happens in seclusion at a retreat, and the difference between the outside world. Are we supposed to spend our lives deep in meditation?
We’re definitely not.
This is me saying that…
We are supposed to live IN the world, surrounded by it’s chaos, it’s beauty, it’s trouble, it’s love. That’s why we are here!
The conversation with Abraham was profound because what was said is that true mastery is being able to be in this world.
When we are able to show up more consciously and be better people to ourselves and our peers, that’s mastery. When we can look around at all of the nonsense, but still find beauty in it, that’s mastery. When we can look at people who harm one another, but know that deep down, they are still people and all people come with the innate ability to love, that’s mastery. And integrating meditation – whether it’s a weekend retreat, or 5 minutes in the office conference room, helps us show up as masters in our life.
One of the sisters at Peace Village was asked about this same idea. Asked about how she integrated her life between the solitary space and peaceful surroundings of the village, and what she did in the “real world”. She laughed at the question appreciating what it allowed her to share. She pointed out that even in such a beautiful place as a retreat center, there is still chaos. Sometimes dinner isn’t ready on time, or check in runs too late, or someone is sick. This is part of life. Meditation is the tool that helps us handle our lives better.
I highly urge you to find a retreat that resonates with you. Whether it’s a weekend with your church group, or at a monastery, or even if it’s just a weekend camping trip with your book and WITHOUT your Iphone. The point of meditation, and of these retreats is to give us that safe space that we can come back to and connect with. When we can withdraw for just a little bit, we remember what and who we are. It’s such a powerful tool, and it’s not something that you have to dedicate years of your life to… literally just a few minutes a day (every day) will make a profound difference. You will always take yourself with you. So if you remember through meditation what kind of person you want to be, you will always take that person into the outside world.
And only good can come from that.
*If you’d like to learn more about my meditation experience or about some of the amazing free tools and teachings out there, send me a message!*