I shall be going for a meditation retreat on June 1 at Buddhist Hermitage Lunas in Kedah. It is going to be a 16 days retreat and the first one for me. I decided to go on my own so that there shall be no distractions.
Was just reading < Three Teachings > by Tenzin Palmo, a book compiling her talks when she was here in 1999. The first teaching was on the topic of retreat, and the following paragraphs she wrote somehow resonated.
The retreat was a vocation for me, I mean it was what I knew I had to do. This was what I was called to do in this lifetime for whatever reasons. Of course, from a Buddhist point of view, this was just my karma
Obviously something I left unfinished in a past life. Something I needed to continue in this lifetime. I was very motivated by the discovery that here was a practice which was so perfect, and the teachers who were so enlightened and the Dharma which is so unexcelled. I wanted to give it my whole being and I didn't want to be distracted. I knew how easily I can be distracted! For me it made sense to try to be in a situation which was non-distracting so that i could give myself to the practice completely and absolutely. So that was what I did.
I felt that if I was eventually going to be of any benefit to anybody, I could only do that by really realizing the Dharma in my heart. When I myself was in a state of ignorance and confusion, how could I help others? And it seemed for me that the perfect way to do that was to be in isolation.
How true. In the midst of all the reservations, expectations and fear approaching this retreat, there is also a realization of this is what I must do. In order to be able to progress in this life, the very first step of a dedicated retreat must be taken.