Catherine’s first meditation experience

On the 26th of July 2010, I opened the gates of Z Meditation Center for the first time. On a flat stone, somebody had written: Stepping into Freedom.

My expectations were high (I hadn’t yet learned to detach from that). But at the same time I had no idea about what was waiting. I think that somewhere deep down, I had a vague idea of some sort of a miracle, a complete transformation of myself to something new and better. And then I learned that I was already perfect… What a disappointment!

No… seriously, it has been hard work for me.. which I have accepted. Never have I ever worked so much with myself – and there have been no shortcuts, no quick fixes. I have been forced to face myself in silence and without the possibility of seeking approval or confirmation from others.

On the first night, when I got the first assignments, ‘What is my best possibility?’, I started crying. I felt that I could not answer that question and so I cried out of confusion. If you had given me that question today, I might not have had a perfect answer, but it would not have made me scared and confused the way it did then.

In the beginning of the retreat, I was so entangled in all my X factors (dependence factors that I supposed would give me fulfilment). I can’t believe that I did not see this. This or that would make me happy, I thought, without seriously considering to change my own attitude. I still want certain things and I still dislike certain others, but I now know how useless this is and harmful it can be. When I have the feelings of like and dislike now, I can always do the inquiry on them to dig out the roots and, at least for a moment, get rid of them.

The total amount of time I had meditated before coming here was zero. Today, I have done it for two-and-a-half hours without a problem. I am often still quite disturbed by other feelings, but I won’t even have been aware of them before. To meditate has really helped me realize what a spin my head is in and that it is important for me to work on that. Practice makes perfect.

I had done Yoga, may be five or six times before. Basically nothing, that is, but I always thought it was boring and slow. Now, when I was more relaxed, I really appreciated each moment and felt the subtle changes in my body and muscles.

Another important things I have learned here is to eat three healthy meals a day. For many years, I haven’t done that regularly. I have promised myself a healthy nutritious food, good sleep when I go back home.

In these two weeks, I have learned so incredibly much. I have meditated, I have read spiritual books, I have been thinking about God and most importantly, I have been forced to deal with myself in a way I have never done before. It has been frightening sometimes; there have been a few silent tears, but I accept it. It could not have been in any other way.

I am taking with me all your words of wisdom. As I said, it is all a bit overwhelming right now, but this too shall pass. When it does, everything I learned in the last two weeks will guide me in many moments to come and encourage me to continue searching, continue learning and always be as true as possible to myself.

My resolutions

Where I saw an obstacle, I shall now see a challenge.

Where I saw failure, I shall now see an experience.

Where I saw boredom, I shall now rest in myself.

Where I begged for approval, I shall now ask for nothing.

Where I saw transition, I shall now see the present.

Where I saw my expectations, I shall now see you.

Where I saw an image, I shall now see myself.

Going back home, I shall

  1. Not deny myself the basics – eat healthy, sleep deep.
  2. Live NOW and not wait for anything to happen.
  3. When I study or work, do it mindfully and with joy.
  4. Meditate daily.
  5. Remember that what they say about me has nothing to do with who I am. Stop chasing approval and appreciation. I am not my achievements.
  6. Stop taking things so seriously. Stop falling into dilemmas about things that are really nothing. Seek time and space to think about what is really important.
  7. Mind my own business – not nature’s or anybody else’s.
  8. Always remember that I am already complete.