I have always wanted to take up meditation – being stressed out by my 2 kids. Somehow or other never made time for this. Decided to take the plunge and attend the meditation course offered by the Subang Jaya Buddhist Association starting 13 July2007 for 6 Fridays 8.30 -10.30pm, conducted by the resident monk Bhante. This course ended with a 4 days 3 nights’ Meditation Retreat on 23 – 26 August. There were 30 of us meditators (yogis).
Being a disciplinarian, diligently attended the 6 Friday lessons and practised the walking and sitting meditation. Also did the metta (loving kindness) meditation. Was told that one had to attend the Retreat to really complete this course.
Was only able to attend 3 days and 2 nights as I had my Thursday night classes to attend.
Nevertheless, it was a very good experience, away from all the worries and stressful environment. It was easy for the first day when I registered on Friday morning. Luckily I was forewarned about the Retreat – living the life of a monk. One has to wake up early at 4am. Start mediating till 6.30 am when breakfast is served.
At 7.30 – 11.30am meditation again.
Lunch 11.00 – 12pm (No solid food after 12pm till breakfast. Only allowed sweet liquid drinks). Having gastric problems, I brought my own 3-in-one cereal packs.
1pm – 8.30 pm Meditation
8.30 -9.30 Dhamma talk
10pm Lights out. Sleep
2nd day was tough as One gets physically tired from walking and sitting meditation. My back ache was giving me problems on Saturday afternoon after lunch. Had to go to the bedroom to rest for a couple of times.
All yogis are supposed to practice the NOBLE silence. No talking but one can communicate via writing. We were given pens and paper to write on.
One is to practice mindfulness and be aware of one’s surroundings and realise that everything is impermanent. One trains the mind to concentrate and not wander by being mindful of one’s breathing (rising and falling of one’s abdomen) during the sitting meditation.
As for the walking mediation, one is mindful of the steps (movements), left, right and then 3 objects – lifting, pushing, dropping. One proceeds to 5 objects – lifting, pushing, dropping, touching and pressing.
The ideal practice would be one hour walking meditation and one hour sitting meditation. One has to bring forth mindfulness into one’s daily living. Eating – chewing your food- be mindful of the eating movements etc….
I am afraid I am able to do 30 – 45 minutes walking and sitting meditation daily only as one gets easily distracted in the home environment. But at the retreat, due to the different environment and the encouragement from the other yogis, one is able to meditate for hours and find real peace of mind. Even though it is tough going – physically and mentally.
One leaves the Retreat with a calmer and more peaceful mind. Have been told by my mother when I went home to JB recently that I looked ‘calmer’ not so ‘tired and haggard’ like before. That’s good news.
I realise myself that I am calmer after having gone for this meditation course and retreat – even though one still is fiery on and off (when having to deal with one’s own children). Overall the ‘fire’ is not so hot when one gets angry. One tends to tone down faster than before.
To me, that’s a great achievement. My husband used to say that where the kids are conerned, I am so hot-tempered! Hope that that will be a thing of the past?????……
Have to practise more meditation and need to go for more retreats………… short ones-lah. Do not think my back can handle the longer retreats.
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