I was lucky enough to spend eight days on a silent meditation retreat at Wilton over the New Year. Some may view this as a self-indulgence. I would say it is most definitely a privilege, but like all the mindfulness and compassion practices, the effects flow on to others.
It was both a wonderful and challenging experience. The simplicity, the silence, the slowing down, the solitude yet connection and the immersion in nature was all wonderful and nourishing. Not having devices, not even being able to read or write made it necessary to really get close to and examine my internal world and my relationship to it.
Self knowledge is not always comfortable! Noticing the judging, fault finding mind and the constant desire for sensory stimulation was very… let’s say interesting. Some experiences of very deep tranquility and peace in both sitting and moving meditations were so welcome and deeply soothing.
Perhaps your meditation practice needs a bit of a kick start. Perhaps you have the courage and the readiness to get to know yourself… and at the same time feel less of a sense of a fixed self…
If you are feeling inspired, I run periodic silent day retreats and yearly silent long weekend meditation retreats.
[Thanks to Sarah Termytelen for permission to use her beautiful digital painting of Wilton retreat centre]