365 Challenge Day 186 – Silent Retreat – Day 4

22 Dec

Day 4 of an 8 Day Silent Retreat

Meltdown

After three relatively peaceful days of practicing Gratitude, and reflecting on a longing for Joy in my spiritual practice, I got SLAMMED with feelings of anger, resentment, sadness and fear.

These are all the same difficult emotions that came up on last year’s retreat, and they center around the fact that the meditation retreat center where I have practiced for the past 15 years has decided to permanently cancel the Family Retreat.  I have gone to the Family Retreat for the past nine years with my kids, and this was their only spiritual community, and their only connection to a spiritual practice.

I didn’t realize how much anger around this was still inside me, but being at the retreat center again, and getting really quiet, all the feelings came flooding back.  I had to seriously ask myself how I could be part of a spiritual practice/community that had “kicked out” my kids.  And felt tremendous guilt for raising them in a community where they were not valued, and not wanted.  It was so painful.

All these feelings get super intense during a silent retreat.  It’s like being in an emotional pressure cooker!!!  At one dramatic moment I thought to myself, “They are making me choose between my spiritual practice and my children!!”  And I started sobbing loudly in the middle of the meditation hall with a hundred other people in the room.  Don’t worry, I wasn’t embarrassed, I’m used to it.  Happens all the time : )

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