Last week I spent five days on a silent mediation retreat led by Adyashanti in Lake Tahoe. Two years ago I spent eight days in silence with Adya in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I had been told to expect that my second retreat would be totally different from the first. But I was amazed by how different the experience of sitting in silence could be. Partially the product of maturity, partially the product of whatever is up at the moment.
When I tell people that I was on a silent retreat, without fail they ask, “like, you didn’t speak the entire time?”
Yup. Not a word, the whole week. Not easy, but silence is not the true challenge. The daily meditation is where the challenge lies. A meditation can bring ecstatic joy or incredible anger. Sometimes both in the same day, or in the same sitting.
For those who have any interest in meditation, I strongly recommend the following:
- Gloria Kamler (great intro class in Santa Monica)
- Against the Stream (amazing group to sit with in Santa Monica, Melrose and San Francisco)
- Adyashanti (go on retreat! But I’d highly recommend sitting with a group or getting some instruction prior)
Some of our employees at TaskUs were interested in meditation. So we hosted an event for our whole Santa Monica office where Gloria taught an introduction to meditation. Out of that four of our team members started taking her weekly meditation class.
I’ll end by saying that the other question I get asked about meditation is, “what do you get from it?” It’s something that I have thought about a lot, and it isn’t easy to describe in words. Tom, one of the most serious meditators I know used to quote Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Adya opened the retreat with a simple question, “Forget about what you are going to get. What are you going to give? What are you willing to receive?”