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The meditation retreat and a broken car :)

Old 03-12-2022, 12:13 AM
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The meditation retreat and a broken car :)

On my quest to understand what meditation actually is, Iím on a meditation retreat this weekend. We had a session last night - Iím still not getting it - and retired to bed. Well my evening routine has become a cup or two of decaff coffee with soy milk, but I didnít see either of these so got in my car to get some. The battery was dead! Iíd left my lights on! Iíll get it sorted on Sunday. No worries.

But I thought of the old me from four years ago. The sort of places that do meditation retreats donít have bars. Iíd have been getting in my car to get something a lot stronger than decaff, and I wouldnít be shrugging off a dead battery so easily. It wouldíve panic stations and a grumpy bedtime with not much sleep to follow. Iíd probably have stashed a bottle or two in my car anyway.

Most people see a broken car as a negative - and it would be in the middle of nowhere - but itís made me realise how far Iíve come in this sober journey. I packed a couple of t-shirts and some toiletries at home yesterday in about five minutes and headed out. I didnít need to plan anything such as where to get beer/wine. Some decaff wouldíve been nice, but I can clearly live without that.

One thing someone said last night which sounds a very Buddhist thing to say (I know zero about Buddhism) is that we canít rely on happiness from external sources. We can all enjoy chocolate or whatever, but that pleasure is short lived. The only real happiness comes from within. Thatís the theory anyway. Iím probably a lot further along that path than I realised but not there yet. For others, it could be tough to be happy with their minds, but itís well worth taking time out to reflect on this.

Iíll try and update on this weekend as well as the car and decaff crisis

Hope everyoneís doing OK.

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Old 03-12-2022, 12:17 AM
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Well done, i get where you're coming from with a broken car, mine went recently and before i would have lost the plot, retreat sounds fab.
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Old 03-12-2022, 01:16 AM
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Meditation and the philosophies underpinning its practice have been a revelation in my recovery and life. True, beautiful peace 🙏
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Old 03-12-2022, 05:09 AM
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Lovely post, thank you, and a reminder to me that I can better problem solve when sober, as you did. Sorry about your car. I hope you may get more out of the retreat as the weekend continues!
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Old 03-12-2022, 05:49 AM
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Awesome post Hodd. For me it is a great example of how sobriety gives us the ability to stop and think. It seems such a small thing but it is one of the keys to a happy life imho. Meditating, right-sizing daily challenges that come our way, considering where happiness emanates from, looking on the bright side, the simplicity a sober life offers - we couldn't think about ANY of those things when we were drinking.
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Old 03-12-2022, 06:56 AM
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Hodd, finding happiness within yourself is a hard lesson, but it's great that you are on the path.
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Old 03-12-2022, 08:00 AM
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Awesome, Hodd! You are a true path breaker and a leader. Hope you have a good time at the retreat and enlighten us as well with any learnings.
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Old 03-12-2022, 01:37 PM
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Thanks Calm, I’m certainly not a leader. I’m just a regular guy who was lost for a long time, but luckily I’ve discovered I’m not all bad.

Well, the car was fixed The centre had a small stash of soy milk which I guzzled to be honest - old habits die hard - but, hey, my car worked so I drove out to bet some more. I couldn’t sleep if I was that selfish, bad karma too as I’ve been learning.

I’m still not au fait with meditation. People’s thoughts will tend to wander. Saying that, these retreats are great. There will always be a few gloomy types - I was one for years - but these can be avoided, and you meet some great people too.

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Old 03-12-2022, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
Hodd, finding happiness within yourself is a hard lesson, but it's great that you are on the path.
Thanks Anna, itís sort of common sense although most people wonít get it. We need to happier with our lot on life and not rely on external stuff. As drinkers, we broke that rule every day.

If Iíd come here as a drinker, Iíd have been negative towards everyone and everything and probably left early! Iím hardly a finished article, but this weekend shows Iím doing better than I thought. All I did was quit drinking, and it all sort of worked after that.
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Old 03-13-2022, 04:25 PM
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So I’ve done the course/retreat.

I’m not going to claim it changed my life or blew my mind, but there was a lot of good stuff relevant for the ex-drinker. Firstly, such retreats aren’t places for drinkers, so you’ll be spending time with like-minded non-drinkers. Some really nice people. I mentioned to a few (very briefly as I rarely talk to anyone publicly about it) about my drinking, and there was no judgment. A few people had overcome similar issues, but I’m happy to say no one laboured the point. It wasn’t that sort of event - that was my big problem last time I tried meditation. It became a free for all for tales of woe.

I don’t believe in reincarnation, and as it’s pretty much the main focus of Buddhism, I’m not going to progress far. Saying that, this concept of karma (which I think strictly speaking applies to past and future lifetimes and not this one) seems to exist in this lifetime too. The main instructor today said that when they took up this spiritual path, the good karma generated meant so many positive events subsequently just fell into place. That rang a bell with me. Whilst I’m not spiritual, quitting booze was my moment when I lucked out of karma points.

I’ll be going back for a few more retreats and events. For someone who wouldn’t have dreamed of setting foot in such a place a little over three years ago, I’ve yet again surprised myself with my open mind. I didn’t get wound up or bore anyone (as far as I know either ). Well recommended for ex-drinkers who are at least a few months in.
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