Saturday, March 08, 2014

meditation retreat

I went for a 5-day meditation retreat at Esalen.  It is a meditation center in California on the coast between San Francisco and LA.  It used to be a tribal ground for a tribe named Esalen, and has been this meditation center since 1962.

I ate all meals at Esalen.  The meals are not vegetarian, which I enjoyed!  They grow their own vegetables.  The squash and red lettuce taste amazing!

Now that I'm back in the regular world, vegetables taste boring by comparison.

Lodgings at Esalen were fully booked during the week I was there, so I had to stay nearby at an inn.  The inn has no locks on the doors!  You take out your valuables during the day, and latch the door with a little metal hook when you're inside.  I did not feel fully safe.

I spent 1.5 hours to get the fire roaring.  Tending a fire is very enjoyable!

The meditation class had 60 students.  We learned mindful self-compassion meditation each day.

This was not a silent meditation retreat.  We would do meditation exercises for 20 to 30 minutes, and then talk in small groups and then together as a class.

On the first day of class, the teacher showed a study performed on a former set of workshop participants, as compared to waiting-list people who did not get into the class.  After one year, the workshop participants tested higher for optimism and happiness.  When I heard this, I thought it was improbable!  How can a one-week class have an effect one year later?

Now that I've taken the class, I believe it.  Mindful practice is very effective!


Anonymous said...

That sounds like time well spent. Is that jalepeno cornbread on the edge of the plate? Yum. A world filled with mindful people... the basis for your next sci-fi screenplay? No longer the sole province of Tibetan Lamas and sleepless brain hackers...


Anonymous said...

Waste of money.