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Meditation Retreat: The Last Day

Note*
This is part of a multi-part posting about the 10 day Meditation Retreat I participated in. The names of the people I met have been changed, but for the most part, this is all as true as my biased and faulty memory can recall. I will not be describing the actual teachings/technique, not because I'm not allowed, but because I can't do them and you justice. If you would like to learn more about, you can go to Vipassana Meditation website

Going Home
The morning gong went off. For a moment I had thought of going to the door to greet the gong ringer. She had woken us up for the last 10 days; it would've been nice to say 'Good Morning'. but, she was too fast for me and I was too slow to greet her.

That morning's session was ok and soon enough, it was over. We all headed off to breakfast and for once, we weren't segregated. It was strange and there wasn't enough room in the women's side anymore. Women were eating with their husbands, boyfriends, and friends. I ate outside for the last time with some other people. The girl I talked to was pretty interesting. She was the youngest looking woman there, and she looked like she was about 18. Amazingly enough, she was here with her mother. And even more amazing was that it had been her mother's idea. I was kind of glad that I was here on my own impetus because there had been some really hard times, and I know I would have been resentful.

The whys and hows of people getting to the retreat were amazing. Meditation centers have to be peaceful and for that reason are usually situated in remote locations. I myself had given a ride to two women for the 4 hour road trip. A couple of people had ridden the chinatown bus from New York city just to get somewhere where people would give them rides. People had flown in from Miami to North Carolina to get rides. Couples drove in from New Jersey. There was even one volunteer from Canada. I know I never said where we were, but as you can guess, we were in the mid-atlantic region.

At 7am, the retreat was officially over. Several of us stayed behind to help pack up the kitchen and meditation hall. I had a moment to speak with our assistant teacher, who told us that she was a volunteer as well (all the staff are volunteers). The retreat had gone very smoothly for her as well. Her job was to facilitate giving meditation instructions and to talk to students when problems or questions arose. When she wasn't doing that, she meditated in the hall to give all of us a sense of peace. I was surprised to find out that some people had actually left during the week. None of the women had left, but several men had left.

sooner than later, everything was packed up. People found their rides, and we all said our good-byes. It was a little sad to see everyone go, but at the same time, I was really glad to go home. I really wanted to see the loml.

Since coming back from the retreat. I've felt much better about life in general. I intend to go back and volunteer for another retreat. As a server, you only meditate three times a day while preparing things for people who are there for the retreat. I can't think of anything more amazing than helping someone else do what I did. So there it is, my 10 day retreat (really 12 days). I know I didn't really elaborate much on the amazing suffering of 10 hours of daily meditation, but that's because it can not be described. let me know if you have any questions. I think this kind of thing is great for anyone and i'd be happy if these blog entries get others to consider going on the 10 day retreat.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2008 1:19 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Meditation Retreat: Day 10.

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