It was the day of the retreat, and I was still uncertain if I wanted to go or not. My friends and family were asking what I was doing on my first Saturday off in forever (sales job!), and I felt tempted to cancel my weird plans and just do what I always do: hang out with friends and blur out everything with a drink or three.
However, I felt trapped by old patterns and that was the exact person I did not want to be anymore. I was tired of trying to do for others rather than myself. I decided to settle down my nerves by reading the itinerary we had received the day before the retreat.
Here’s a sample of what one full day at the meditation retreat would look like:
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM Dynamic meditation
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Audio discourse with guided meditation
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Meditation
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Lunch, rest
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Sharing, expressing and asking session
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Kundalini Meditation
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM Break, dinner will be served at 6:30 PM
7:30 PM – 10:00 PM White robe, Video, Sannyas
I drove past the location three times debating on whether or not I should go. At first, I used the money as the excuse. Why should I spend money on this when I can do it on my own? Then I used time as an excuse. Why should I waste an entire two and half days when I might not get another two days to myself in a long time?
Then I asked myself why not? The reason I have been held back so much in my life is because I fear taking risks. At least if it were a bad experience, I could write about it and laugh about it.
Immediately after paying and heading into my hotel room, I knew I made the right decision. The Duncan Community Center is beautiful. There is a pool and hot tub right outside covered by greenery. The rooms were serene and filled with books about spirituality, yoga, and meditation. It felt like the perfect place to unwind and focus for a while.
Friday was a half day so it consisted of Dinner and a Satsang which is a gathering among all to honor truth. We were told to wear white robes at night and maroon robes during the day. Although I did not have either, I was able to borrow a white robe from my roommate for the weekend.
Although I eat meat, all the meals at the retreat were vegetarian. It was very tasty though and we had a buffet full of as much salad and vegetables that you could eat.
The Satsang on Friday night consisted of A LOT of dancing. We danced for an hour straight. The music is a cross between deep house and Yanni so personally, I found it easy to vibe to. We learn that dancing was considered by Osho to be the ultimate form of active meditation and releases bad energy and energizes the mind and soul.
After dancing, we meditated in silence and were shown two documentaries to introduce us to Osho. Honestly, the videos could have been much better due to being outdated but I kept an open mind.
After the sat sang, I met a young woman named Josie* in the lobby area of the lodging area. Josie and I ended up having a thorough conversation about why we were there and some of the problems we were facing in our lives. She told me about how she had just broken up with her boyfriend and was dealing with the complications of running a business with an ex. I told her about my uncertainty and some of the issues I had with men. We both gave each other perspective on our situations and laughed at our similarities in personality. We really connected because we both were trying to better ourselves in whatever way possible. I found the retreat to be an excellent opportunity to meet friends. She told me about some other meditation retreats she had tried and recommended books to me. We exchanged numbers and plan to continue to keep in touch.
Overall, the first day of the retreat put my mind at ease. I felt like I was at the right place….
See part 3 of 4