One Day Retreat – Reflection


One Day Retreat – Reflection

        The day, as usual, began with DDMBA’s famous Eight Form Moving Meditation. This exercise, when done correctly, is actually very soothing. All eight forms must be done with intention and awareness. The main purpose of this exercise is to warm up the body and to condition the mind, into a state of mindfulness, preparing it for a long day of sitting meditations.

        This one day retreat experience was a bit different for me. On other retreats, when a fly would buzz around me,
I simply tried not to pay attention to it and just focus on my breath. This time, it was different because I was armed with the method of “feeling our sensations.” Fashi taught us to really feel the sensations. Feeling our sensation was a key to knowing our true selves. During one sitting session, a fly decided to teach me something. So I decided to open my mind to allow the teachings to enter. When the fly buzzed around my right ear, I would feel tiny sensations going down my right arm. Same thing happens to my left arm when the fly buzzes around my left ear. These sensations felt like several strings of cool energy water trickling down my internal arm channels. At those moments, I felt a connection between the fly and myself. The fly had generated a cause, and I felt its effect.

        Yoga exercises were done after certain sitting meditation sessions. There were sitting yoga and standing yoga. Yoga is a great way to increase our flexibility. If we are more flexible, we are able to sit longer. Therefore, the sitting will become less of an obstacle, so that we can move on to the method of the breath and the mind. Most of our leg pains are due to the lack of flexibility. Yoga, I believe, is also a method to help release the blocked energy that has been accumulated during our long sitting.

        For the walking meditation, we were asked to choose between three methods. We can either feel our feet, our whole body, or our breath. I chose to feel the breath. Feeling the breath, means to be aware of the sensations of each and every inhale and exhale, no matter what we are doing. During the walking meditation, there was a point when we stopped and were asked to find a location to either sit or stand, while continuing to use the “feeling” method. I chose to stand. Initially, I looked for a place in the shades. But quickly decided to head into a sunny area, because I felt cold in the shade. While standing, at times, I felt like a rock, when there were no winds. Other times, I felt like a balloon tied to a chair, when there were light winds. Yet another time, I felt like a kite, when there were strong winds.

        The experience from this retreat was refreshing. I got a glimpse of how sensations can be thought of as keys to help unlock our true selves. But learning how to use these keys will take a lot of practice. That is the reason for the retreats, where there are ample opportunities to practice.