Alive in the Silence
I was particularly looking forward to Doug Veenhoff’s meditation retreat on Shamatha (meditative quietude) last weekend, as my mind had been resembling a bag of mad frogs.
I wasn’t disappointed. Wow! The purpose of the silent retreat was to achieve the stillness of the mind necessary for all deep meditative practices – honing the mind on a single object and walking the line consciously between dullness and agitation.
The 15-hour day seemed long on Saturday, with a series of 12 ghatikas (24 minute meditation sessions) throughout the day. However, the effect it had was almost immediate. By the end of a similar day on Sunday, I left feeling focused and energised. Who would have thought such peace and stillness could exist in the heart of Club Street – that was a lesson in itself.
Particularly fascinating was turning the mind inwards and becoming aware of the parade of mental appearances crossing the mind, usually subconsiously. Who needs T.V. when you can be a ‘psycho-naut’ and explore the space of the mind? I found myself drifting into more roles than Eddie Murphy in a Nutty Professor movie. Most of the time I found I was different people living through different scenarios – which all seemed so real – blurring the boundaries between reality and thought. Another tantalising insight.
At the end of the retreat, we did a series of three meditations on how we could leverage and grow this amazing tool in an everyday capacity to enrich our lives and reach our own unique goals. These insights were a gift.
A big thank you to Doug and all the organisers for such a special (re)treat.
With love always,
(and the ACI Singapore team)
P.S. For those of you who were unable to join us at the retreat- join us every Friday at Temple Street where you will be able to experience some of the guided meditations given at this retreat.
A Final Thought