Twelve years ago, I spent ten days with four other ladies in this room at a silent retreat in Massachusetts. Ten days, not exchanging a word nor a gesture, ten days not reading, writing, exercising, or doing anything else but being in the presence of yourself, and especially your internal difficulty of sitting for over eight hours a day. I spent those days meditating for the first time, not knowing what to expect.
Little did I know then that this was the beginning of why I do what I do today —my passion and mission to bring happiness to myself and others. My defined foundation in mindfulness started here.
Only on my most recent visit did I realize how much the Vipassana teachings of S.N. Goenka impacted me back then. You might not take this journey of a ten-day silent retreat, and yet it would be of tremendous benefit. For now, I'll spare you the trip and share what I discovered during my short and refreshed 3-day visit.
Returning to this place twelve years later, I found myself in a familiar place, knowing what to expect and still curious about what will it be like this time around. This retreat is here to increase the observational skills of our sensations without reacting to them, noticing them arising and passing away. Additionally, it's about witnessing how everything is constantly changing. After two-and-half days, we were allowed to engage with the other practitioners. At that moment, I realized why ten days is the norm and that it takes a lot of time to get this mindfulness practice not only understood but literally embodied.
When you make it through these days, one thing has been established a sense of inner peace. Knowing that everything is impermanent and if I am willing to observe without reacting, the discomfort moves away faster and won't return as soon.
Yes, it is possible to find inner peace and happiness while still experiencing challenges and difficulties in our life. Mindfulness practice is here to find a way to be present and aware of what is happening in this moment and how it affects us internally, on a sensational level, and make wiser choices on letting them pass through us instead of adding misery to our experiences. It's not to never come across any struggles or pain anymore. The more we see what is there, such as our sensations, life becomes simpler and easier to work with. Want to practice how to improve your reactivity? Connect with me and discover how freeing it can feel when we start observing ourselves more without judging.