As I went over my old notes, I came upon this.
July 7th, 2019
Today is dedicated to noble silence practice. I’m not supposed to read or write anything. But here I am, jotting down my experience over the past 4 days.
This is the fourth meditation retreat with thầy. Even though thầy always gave the same lesson, it came in different lights each time.
The first day I got here, I was overwhelmed with worries, thoughts, frustration, and desires. I was mad at my housemate. I wanted my OPT to get approved. I was upset at my boyfriend. I had millions of plans for multiple “what ifs”. I worked on projects under fear. I wanted to quit, to drop everything off. I wanted to not confront negative reactions from others. I wanted to start from a clean slate.
I did everything to gain merits so things would happen the way I wanted. But then as time was passing by at the retreat, all the voices I thought I couldn’t shut off started to fade away. Of course, the fear of coming back to that chaotic place sometimes would creep in, but the next moment was surprisingly filled with peace and “emptiness”.
I found myself effortlessly living fully in the moment. Thoughts came by here and there but never stayed.
It’s a kind of stillness that’s hard to explain, stillness among motion. I was doing things for the sake of doing it, instead of for moving to the next activity. I cared about every single bowl I washed or wiped. It’s not about going from point A to point B anymore, but focusing on doing well what’s in front of me. Whatever it is, no matter if I like it or not.