I love the quote: Treat kindness like it’s money and spend it like you’re a billionaire.
I’m taking that thought with me as I head into silent retreat. I will be offline for the next few days, collecting silent acts of kindness mind you, as I attend a 4-day Vipassana meditation retreat in Massachusetts.
Morning meditation will begin at 4:30 AM and throughout the course of the day we will sit the sum total of 10 hours, which I hope to find more soothing than my initial 10-day visit in 2010 (the story of which is chronicled in my book).
Here’s a snippet:
Our schedule after breakfast included seven more group meditations, broken up by bathroom breaks, lunch, teacher meeting time, tea, and our evening discourse. Our breaks were spent walking, stretching, resting–watching. Come day three, my talking to myself, I was afraid, had reached proportions beyond my control. Indeed, I was of unsound mind, mad as a March hare, nutty as a fruitcake. Hence, the only way to manage sanity was to imagine I was an embedded reporter, like Lisa Ling, here on a mission. I was to take careful mental notes and not miss a beat.
I blamed my mental breakdown on the incessant breathing. For three days and thirty hours of meditation, all we did was breathe. Breath and focus on the “heat, cold, itching, pulsing, vibrating, pressure, tension, pain,” only in that little, bitty triangle just blow the nostrils and above the lip. Each set of instructions was the same, a spun-out, broken record. I began to feel that perhaps I was being short-changed. If it weren’t for the discourses at night promising that something was actually working, I may have thought Goenka (the instructor) was “full of bologna,” as Gma would say.
During the ten hours a day we endured the sitting meditation, I was in so much pain I thought for certain my knees would splice through the flesh. Instead of stacking on more pillows, as I saw others doing, I stuck stubbornly to my single pillow that felt like cold concrete each time I sat.
I leave you with this: Treat kindness like it’s money and spend it like you’re a billionaire.
*Attempted to offer 3 people rides to the retreat, which for someone who covets her alone time in the car that was a big deal. (Does it still count if I’m grateful no one took me up on it;)
PS … I have put together a few more kindness posts that will come out in the next few days, thanks to fancy technology. On Sunday, when I return, I will post the last of my adventure.
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!