Ys

Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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So, when I was in Liverpool on Monday...
Le Mont
ajodasso
...I randomly picked up a newspaper and read a column from a journalist who'd gone here and participated in one of the ten-day meditation retreats. I can't decide whether it sounds amazing or scary. I mean, take my computer and internet access away from me for even 48 hours, and I begin to get twitchy. You're not even allowed to have paper and writing utensils during your time there, and you have to maintain Noble Silence. In other words, you cannot speak to anybody except for the teacher at set times during the day.

On the other hand, eating entirely vegetarian meals for ten days and not having to worry about cooking or the pressure of verbal communication sounds a little bit like heaven. I may be a generally social person, but I'm also very deeply a loner at heart. Sometimes, I just can't stand speech. And I can memorize thought-text if need be.

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Wow-TEN days? That's a long one! I know of some here that are mainly a Catholic thing, but I think they're about 48 hours--5 days is the longest.

But it does sound pretty nice, whether it turns out to be relaxing or a bit disquieting. The time alone with yourself would be positive, I'm sure! ;)

No pen and paper, though?

Long and apparently very challenging, according to the journalist. A couple of people in his group ended up dropping out after two days.

I would imagine! I think the not speaking would be okay, but I can't imagine not being able to read!

Can you imagine the monks that lived mostly in silence?

I have often deeply desired one of these retreats.

I think it'd be fantastic.
I would personally have to read and research carefully before applying, though - I'd hate for it to turn out to be some kind of brainwashing attempt by some power-hungry pseudo-guru.

*hugs to you*

>^,,^< //

Re: I have often deeply desired one of these retreats.

The one thing that's encouraging is, if your application is accepted, there's no charge - the center is run entirely off of donations and volunteers. So it's not as if they're money-hungry and seeking a power-base, I'm going to guess!

I just...wonder what I'd find in my head, I think.

I think 10 days of that deep introspection would make me go a bit nuts, to be honest... I think it would be refreshing for a couple of days, though!

It almost makes me wonder why they chose ten days, you know? Why not seven or fourteen?

Going trekking is a bit like that... You're mainly alone with yourself, because even if you're walking with other people you go at your own pace... So, no total silence of course but almost no technology (give me back my computer) and even books are heavy, so better choose wisely.
But walking is very different from sitting there and doing nothing. And even when I'm trekking I would go crazy without my sketchbook to write or draw.
And any day I would choose trekking over just "meditating", because you are active, and challenge yourself and your body.

Trekking is just hiking and camping out, yes - or is there some other dimension to it?

I find there is a spiritual dimension to leaving with everything you need on your back and going places where you sometime may see less than 6 people a day.
For me walking in the wild has a comtemplative dimension. You have nothing to do but think and keep going, no matter how hard the path is (I mainly did trekking in montain, so sometimes that was quite hard). In some ways it's like meditation or at least intense thinking time, but it's also as restfull for the mind as it is tiringt for the body.
I remember trying to explaine this to a girl a bit younger than me (I was 21 at the time) and she just couldn't get it and understand why someone would choose to spend 10 days walking almost alone...
But maybe that just me. ^^

Sounds rather exciting, actually. Thanks for explaining!

This is really intriguing to me. But I can also see myself maybe going mad. I think I need a good exercise in stillness, though.

I wonder why the extra three days. You would have thought six or seven days would have sufficed, right? I'm dead curious.

Six or seven might even be my physical limit! Without even a book? It frightens me. Still, wildly fascinating.

Sounds like my worst nightmare, personally, (Plus I am dubious as to whether 'eradicating all unhappiness' is a good thing) but each to their own. I prefer silence to speech, but not on those sort of terms.

I can't decide if it'd break me or if I'd be glad I'd done it.

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