Meditation Retreat Near Me : Vlog 81

by Melissa West on August 27, 2017

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Meditation Retreat


This past week I was involved in a meditation immersion, in other words a mini meditation retreat near me with my meditation teacher, Neil McKinlay, senior teacher with Dharma Ocean. I am part of the lineage of Dharma Ocean. My teacher is Neil Mckinlay, his teacher is Reggie Ray who was taught by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

The first day was the day of the solar eclipse and so there was a lot of excitement in the air. Looking back on the week, I can see how the theme of the sangha or community was alive even from the beginning as I was looking forward to seeing my friends.

The first day Neil did an overview of the history of Buddhism and our lineage. What stood out to me was that Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche actually taught meditation rather than giving simple talks. This has come down through the lineage. We are not getting water down teachings.

Tuesday morning I was feeling so very tired. The theme of sangha continued on day two. I connected with more of my friends through the week and felt their support and help. The spiritual path is so much easier with their support.

Acceptance was the big theme on Tuesday. What I got to practice accepting on Tuesday was being tired. I have also been noticing that I have been softening around experiencing anxiety and excitement.

Wednesday I got a drive from Tim and I was looking forward to the teachings. We actually continued with our theme of discussing acceptance. We actually moved into the practice of Pure Awareness. We talked about the difference between impulse and responsiveness. We also got a beautiful mantra on acceptance.

Friday morning I was reflecting on the 3 Jewels. We need to focus on our practice, the teachings and our community. All three of these things together are the magic to our transformation. With my community, teacher and teachings it becomes effortless.

You get to meet Neil 🙂

What stood out for Neil? Neil appreciates that the immersion is in our everyday life. One of the things that stands out in our world is that we all seem a little bit crazy, but this week Neil was able to connect with the light, tenderness and compassion. When he was teaching he saw people’s willingness to open to a layer of ourselves that was below the craziness. This gave him hope. It was a beautiful way to connect with more of our compassion.

I asked Neil what it is like to have me as a student 😉

What does it mean to be a good student?

Show up in class, practice at home, study, be curious and ask questions. In short a devotion to the teachings.

If you want to experience what I experienced this week in immersion with my teacher Neil, then you can check out his guided meditations here on his website. These are the practices we did this past week 🙂

Closing thoughts:

My major takeaway for the week was a huge insight around anxiety. There was a lot of softening, welcoming and acceptance of anxiety that I haven’t experienced before.

If you liked the video give it a thumbs up and let me know what you liked about it in the comments. Thanks for subscribing.

I think this is one of my favourite vlogs I have done so far. I know it is not the most cinematic, but I have a video log of my experience of transformation over this week and for me that is something priceless that I can come back to, so thanks for indulging me.

With gratitude, Melissa

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