This Tuesday at 2 pm, I embark on one of the most seemingly challenging mental experiences. For 7 days, I will trade my phone, sugar and alcohol, social interactions, any kind of entertainment and all forms of communications for 100 hours of meditation and 200 hours of silence, nature and vegetarian meals of small portions.
I will enter and stay in my own head for 7 days.
I have been meditating daily for over a year now and I have taught a few classes, but have never done an extended meditation beyond a few hours.
After hearing about Spirit Rock through Chip Conley, a mentor, I chose to attend Solstice, a 7 day silent meditation retreat, which falls perfectly at the end of this year, a year where my life has diverted.
Solstice occurs twice a year: in the summer and in the winter. During the latter, solstice falls around December 21, when the sun is over the tropic of Capricorn and it is the shortest day of the year. It also signifies in many cultures birth, rebirth and new beginnings.
In the spirit of learning, I am writing this post to document the before and after.
The Before Q&A
Q: How am I feeling?
Scared. Even more nervous that I am scared of what I will discover in my own head. Scared of being bored. Scared of quitting in the middle.
Excited. Excited to dig deeper, observe how my mind works, how I make decisions and be more mindful of how I live. Mostly, I am excited to push my mental boundary.
Exhausted and stressed. With little sleep and a lot going on, I feel exhausted. The photo below speaks for itself. And so I am looking forward to being in nature, eating healthily and breathing again.
In Pain. I have had a knee injury for the past 3 months, preventing me from working out, and the pain associated with it has become a constant.
Q: How am I looking?
Q: What are my intentions?
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti
1- Resetting: Removing the clutter and the unnecessary to gather clarity on what really matters, to start the new year on the mindful foot.
2- Awareness: Become more present and aware of my body, heart, the world around me.
3- Understanding: Why I act in some ways and not others, how much effect do fears and insecurities have on my actions.
4- Technique: Deepening of my meditation practice through teaching and practice.
Q: What am I most looking forward to?
People rave about the center’s vegetarian organic, locally-made meals. I am looking forward to observing and resetting my eating habits.
Q: What I think I am going to miss most?
I thought it would be my phone, but then every time my battery dies, I forget about it instantly. In reality, I am an extrovert, and I think I am going to miss my friends. Calling them up to hang out, to share a story, to support.
Stay tuned for my After blog post, next week, accompanied by a photo and collection of what I learned. In the meantime, make sure you carve time to Pause ahead of the holidays, even if it is taking a half day for yourself.