In my quest for inner peace & happiness I have signed up for a Buddhist meditation retreat via Monk Chat. This is an overnight retreat featuring teachings of Buddhism, meditations & hopefully the tools to reach enlightenment. A bargain at 500b/£10 including transport to the meditation centre, overnight stay, dinner, breakfast & lunch.
We arrived at the meditation centre before 4pm & changed into our white clothes. I, like many others, opted to buy the fetching white ensemble from them – a white tshirt & white fisherman’s pants. Grand at 300b/£6.
Our accommodation was a basic, spacious (by my standards), 2 bed room, en suite. Same sex roomies – some couples had to be sleep in separate rooms for the night.
Our teacher, Phra KK spoke to us about meditation & taught us the different methods: sitting, standing, walking, lying, & with beads. We chanted & paid respect to Buddah. It was a very calming experience. But then… the horror when it dawned on me that it was a silent retreat! Surrounded by all these pals-to-be & great stories to be heard but no. It is not meant to be *sigh*
It wasn’t too bad, I survived! Although I was one of the few on the speaking spectrum whereas others were being really strict & didn’t say a word. I struggled to communicate via facial expressions, as I tend to, without looking like a caricature of myself. And I discovered that I have a rather sour meditation face, which is a great worry for me! I don’t look like a friendly mute which is a shame. It is clearly not for me.
We finished at 9.30pm & I was exhausted from all the mindfulness. Despite my wish to fall asleep instantly, I didn’t manage to until well after midnight. I owe the sleep bank some hours.
At 5am in the morning Phra KK sounded the bell to wake us & again at 5.30am to call us to chanting & meditation practice. I’m not sure if I’m meditating right, but I find it soothing & helpful to clear my mind so I’m content that I’m feeling better & more mindful.
I had to leave the retreat early for a Skype interview – there is no wifi at the retreat so don’t bother taking your laptop. You won’t have much time to use it anyway. I recommend to take toilet roll as supplies in the toilets were low to non-existent.
Overall it was lovely speaking to the monks & getting an insight into their lives & their tips to mindfulness. If you are interested in doing this overnight meditation retreat I have posted the link below.