Thanks to the support of my sangha (Red Rose Sangha of Lancaster, PA if you were wondering), I was able to attend my first retreat this weekend. The retreat was hosted by ZCB/Clare Sangha and held at Holy Trinity Spiritual Center in Pikesville, MD. It ran from Friday 1pm until noon today (Sunday).
Over the past two years, meditation has greatly enhanced my life. I’m able to remain calm in stressful situations that would have otherwise had me pulling my hair out, I’ve learned to respond when someone says something unkind or unfeeling to me instead of just reacting. The list goes on and on. But a daily practice can only take you so deep.
This weekend I was able to meditate for the majority of each day, and I can honestly say now that it is over that I have never felt so centered in my life. On the way home there were a few traffic “situations” but instead of getting fired up, I was able to respond with equanimity. Even now, I am at peace; a peace unlike I’ve ever felt before.
By the middle of the weekend I felt that the people in attendance were becoming like a family to me instead of the strangers they were a short 24 hours before. I would like to personally thank both of the teachers (Bruce and Tony) as well as everyone who preformed a service role. In fact, everyone there brought something to the sesshin that made it the special occasion that it was.
As I prepare enter what is bound to be a tumultuous week, I will do so with an attitude of compassion, and a heart filled with loving-kindness. I may have underestimated the power of silence and a still mind in the past, I don’t any more.