I have always heard about the extraordinary benefits of silent meditation retreats, but never had a chance to attend one. On 28th August 2021, I count my blessings and positive merits that I could finally attend my first silent half day retreat at Dharma Drum Singapore, after completing my basic meditation class.
Upon arrival at the meditation hall, we were given instructions not to engage in any form of talking or eye contact with anyone. We were highly encouraged to go within and connect with ourselves. The retreat started with the 八式动禅 ( Eight Forms Moving Meditation ) where we had to go through slow body movements to ease our tired muscles for the meditation. I could feel my body tension melting away with the therapeutic movements.
The sitting meditation was a little challenging as my monkey mind made its protest. I was unable to focus initially. However, after using the breathing technique that was taught during the basic meditation classes, I was able to calm my restless mind. The meditation session provided my mind a chance to temporarily escape from the hustle and bustle of life. It was analogous to a mini staycation.
After the sitting meditation, we practised our walking meditation. Contrary to the sitting meditation, the walking meditation allows bodily movement. This type of meditation is highly suitable for people who find it difficult to remain still at one point. Personally, I find it a good change from the sitting meditation as it allows me to move about.
We had another shorter session of sitting meditation after the walking meditation. The retreat ended with prostration in front of the Buddha. I walked out of Dharma Drum Singapore feeling deeply refreshed and rejuvenated. It was indeed time well spent.
By Chan Huan Fei
Event Date: 2021 August 28