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Gone were the super fun experience shown in the previous two articles as I calm myself down for the start of the real program, the Kechara Forest Retreat Inner Peace Program. The welcoming group was quite diversified as we have participants who came all the way from London and India! I’m more surprised to find out that a lot of participants actually used Grab to come all the way from KL to the event venue all the way in Bentong.
Our phones was taken away for the duration of the program, only to be given back at night for 15 minutes to update your family on your whereabouts (read till the end to find out a LOL situation involving karma and this). Will I experience smartphone or social media withdrawal was what I first thought? Not too much at the end of the day. It generally feels like a habit to reach out for your phone whenever your hands are free, only to find it not there. Looks like lots of human interaction it is! Because of this, there were so many pictures in which I could not take haha, will await pics from the amazing facilitators when the program ends then!
This was one of the most relatable analogy that our lead trainer, Li Kheng, taught us, as it explains meditation very well.
Our lives are like a murky river that is ever flowing strongly towards a single direction. Lots of dirt, lots of torrents, dangerous and filled with uncertainty. But when you take a bucket of water, scoop the water from the river out, what will you notice?
You will see the water in the bucket start to settle down, sediments sinking to the bottom of the bucket, leaving you with a calm and clean pool of water. So when you take this analogy into context, you are allowing yourself to consciously make a choice by taking a part of yourself out, calm it down through a process, and when things are clear, only then you are able to act upon it. This is what meditation in general is all about.
The conscious acceptance of taking out time to meditate, is a form of mental exercise. We filter and sieve through all kinds of noise that passes through our life, and it is only after that, we are able to make the best decisions we need upon any giving matter.
The key to successful clarity of your mind via meditation is to first set a goal onto why are you doing it in the first place. But before we are able to get to that, we were taught the fundamentals of meditation via the Breathing Meditation which was taught and practised multiple times during the day, teaching us on how to focus via the (9 Rounds breathing technique and the 7 point meditation posture) to reflect good flow across the body while meditating.
But what came after that was the implementation of a motivation into your practise. What are you trying to achieve out of this? Is it to calm yourself down to kickstart a day? Or was it to filter out noises so you can focus on a key issue to solve in your current life via contemplative or analytical meditation?
However so you choose to meditate, the whole concept is pretty simple. To knowingly and consciously engage yourself into a meditative state, in order to fulfill certain answers within your mind through mental practise and exercise.
Lots of business owners or startup founders engage in meditation early in the morning. It helps them to understand and identify the important priorities which has to be done throughout the day. Not only does meditation helps to control the situation within your mind, but hopefully with it done right, it will enable you to see the clearer actions that will be prioritized because of this activity.
Part 2nd Half of the Day – Compassion via yourself, to others. The Grocery4Charity story.
The other part which I was really looking forward for this retreat would be not only to know how to meditate, but also to understand various teachings from another religion which I am not too familiar with. Kechara being a Tibetan Buddhism center by Tsem Rinpoche, shows all kinds of teachings via a multitude of ways. However the one that we focused on during the evening and night session was, compassion.
Compassion has been something I have attempted to actively do of late, as it was further strengthened when I met Wei Wen just a few nights back. Wei wen told me about a coffin maker who has been accepting elderly people abandoned by their children in hospitals. In a plea to help support these people, Wei wen started a mini charity organization she dubbed Grocery4Charity, where she would gather a few individuals to contribute some money to buy groceries for the abandoned elderly people! Immediately right after this, I signed up to join her cause and invited my fellow friends to be in it too. Sometimes what little help we are able to provide, goes a long way into the well-being of others.
This story was then chosen by me to share to the fellow Inner Peace Retreat members at Kechara Forest Retreat with the members acknowledging on the hardships of the current society at this present moment. We were then asked to exercise a contemplative meditation for this, where Li Kheng guided us trough a series of instructions during our meditative state on finding your inner compassion, and reflect on what we, as short lived humans in this planet, can do about it.
Do you believe in, Karma?
Well I certainly do, and it has been a series of jokes I always tell my friends and family about due to certain humorous situations which has always befallen me. Like the time I did not pay for a sandwich and immediately had food poisoning few hours later haha! The situation kinda happened to me again where I kinda cheated on the “no technology!” rule during this retreat. Yes, earlier on in this article it was mentioned that my phone was taken away, but what the facilitators did not know was that I had a laptop (this current laptop im using to type this out) hidden in my room hehe. When there was a break, I then came back to my room and browse Facebook as usual like nobody’s business.
Alas, Karma struck! After our compassionate meditation session ended at 9.30PM, we were then given back our phones. Yay WhatsApp replies at last….was what I thought. Apparently I was the only one who did not off his phone, and became the only phone among 13 members present to have a dead battery. Yay. So while everyone was busy using their phones for 15 minutes, I had to, well, continue human interactions with whoever is available haha! When you are in a holy place, don’t push your luck! Someone even tried to give me powerbank, and the powerbank also died hahaha!
Heading back to the room now for Day 2 of the program, where we are required to wake up at 5.30AM and head out for a Sunrise Meditation by the cliff.
May there be continuous peace around the world. Jason Low.
Kechara Forest Retreat Index