Last week I made a decision not to go on a meditation retreat.
I was really interested in doing a 10 Day Vipassana Course. It’s a silent retreat, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. The only problem is that it involves a lot of uncomfortable sitting on the floor, and most beginners report online that it’s incredibly painful - as Westerners we’re not usually used to sitting on the ground for long periods without our legs going numb. During my year in Korea, I got used to it, but it took many months.
I started to practice sitting for long periods of time, tacking it on o my current list of habits, and it was surprisingly painful. I also felt that weight that to me signals willpower depletion - it felt like when I was doing too many habits - that feeling right before I just gave up on every skill I was trying to acquire.
It really does feel with this program that the hardest thing is not jumping into doing more things. Meditation will help me keep focused. Eating right will give me more energy, and I have so many ideas now for apps for gamification that I have to fight urges not to dive into learning programming.
It was a really difficult decision for me, because I felt like I was copping out of going, of just biting the bullet and forcing myself to do it. But I have to remind myself that this is part of the process - I’m trying something new here, something that has thus far worked at least once - 750 words is now a habit. And I know my previous way of doing things hasn’t worked.
Since making the decision not to go, I’ve stopped my timed sits, which has been a relief, both in terms of the pain involved,and a renewed feeling of endurance with regards to practicing my new habit - and I know it will be easier to continue along the process of habituation without such a huge distraction.
But I’m still eying that retreat - and I will go in the future - just not now.