365 Challenge Day 188 – Silent Retreat – Day 6

23 Dec

Day 6 of an 8 day Silent Meditation Retreat

Another major meltdown!!

Last night my teacher gave a dharma talk and some of the things he said were that when our difficult emotions come up we don’t want to look at them, so we run away.  And I thought, Oh shit, he’s talking to me!!

I started to doubt all of my decisions to explore other practices such as yoga and Subud.  I had all of these thoughts about why I wasn’t connecting to Buddhist meditation as my primary practice, but I started to doubt all of them, doubt my own motivation and my own wisdom, and wonder if I should just buckle down and push through and practice.

So this day I really practiced in a more traditional way, dropped the gratitude, dropped the two hour walks into town for more coffee, just did the sitting and walking, sitting and walking, sitting and…


I cried in the meditation hall! Again!!  I just couldn’t take it!!  I felt so trapped!!  I felt so mad that the place encourages silence as the ONLY way to practice.  Instead of feeling like a refuge, it felt like an ivory white walled, pine, sterile, OCD, prison!!  I’ve never felt so confused in my life!!

That night I saw my teacher for an interview, and told him I was having a hard time.

He told me to follow my heart.  If my heart was telling me that I needed to do a practice that was more active, more embodied, more extroverted, more interpersonal, than that’s what I needed to do!!  He told me I should never feel like I needed to stick with one form of practice, or one teacher.  He told me that almost all experienced practitioners (including himself) leave the practice at some point. Some come back, some don’t.  I guess I needed his opinion to know I wasn’t kidding myself, and to feel like I was moving forward, not giving up.

Huge sigh of relief!!!


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