**This campaign will last from August 12th- August 26th, but I hope to meet the goal as soon as possible!**
This September, I hope to attend a 3-Month meditation retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. This opportunity is a dream of mine! There are some more explicit answers I can come up with, and do explore more in this blurb, but much of this cannot be explained beyond the fact that I am compelled by something that lives in the deepest depths of my heart.
For you to support me as I respond to this calling is a truly invaluable gift and blessing. Deeply humbled and a well of gratitude, thank you.
Part of my tuition has been paid for by the generous scholarship fund that IMS offers, and I am raising the final $2,000. These tuition fees go towards offering teachings of meditation, maintaining facilities, and the basic costs of room and board to the meditators.
So what will I be doing, anyway?
The retreat itself is silent, and most of my day will be spent meditating. There are break periods and meal times, dharma talks given a few nights a week, and interviews with the teachers to check in on our practice. There will be no reading, writing or communication of any kind during these three months to anyone outside of the retreat, or the fellow retreatants.
The path I've been traveling...
I have been practicing insight (Vipassana) meditation for 4+ years and have both sat and served on many ten-day silent retreats. While it is a rather unconventional aspiration, attending a long retreat has been a dream of mine ever since attending my first one in Dharamsala, India in 2014!
My relationship to meditation.
The practice of meditation is just that-- practice. Practice for life, for moving with authenticity through the world. It has shown me that all situations and experiences are teachers, each with an important lesson. It has given me a deep sense of internal resiliency that is becoming more and more necessary in uncertain and sometimes heartwrenching times on a national and global scale.
It also continues to deepen my well of compassion-- the more I look inside of myself and understand the roots of my own suffering, the more I understand the roots of others. This has become a central practice of my life-- to look through harmful actions I see, from my daily life in Burlington to the global socio-political sphere, and witness the suffering that lies beneath it, by those violated and the ones carrying our such acts. This insight has radically changed courses of action that I take in every aspect of my life; working with children, personal relationships, relationships with the natural world, and my efforts with social justice, my hospice volunteer work among many others.
During this retreat, I hope to cultivate these transformational qualities of compassion and resiliency and bring them wherever I go, and whatever I choose to do. I anticipate this also becoming a central part of the work that I do in future, and see this greatly supporting my vocational aspirations as well.
Why do a 3-month meditation retreat?
This feels like both a very simple and very complex question. The simple answer is that there is something inside of me that is compelled to do this. While in many ways this does feel like something I WANT to do, more deeply it feels like something I have to do. It does not come from a place of pressure or striving, but rather a place of deep personal authenticity and calling.
The more complex questions is...well... more complex. A kind and patient friend recently worked with me make to a video, helping me to synthesize and articulate my personal philosophy of meditation practice. In the video, I describe my path to meditation, why I practice, and the changes it continues to make in my day-to-day life. If you're interested, check out my video here !
How you can help!
Any amount of support you are able to give is of great help. While larger sums are wonderful, I value all contributions equally, and am really truly humbled by your generosity.
If you can't give a financial contribution at this time but still want to support this endeavor, you can share this with your friends, family, and other people you think may be inspired to hear about the retreat!
This campaign will last until for two weeks, from August 12th to August 26th!
I cannot say enough what your support means to me, whomever you are. To know that my path is supported by my community in a time where we are seldom encouraged to look within is an invaluable gift. You are changing my life!
Please reach out if you want to connect or hear more about this endeavor!
Even with a video and this writing there is still so much left unsaid. The practice is nuanced, and there are many ideas perpetuated by popular culture around meditation that I challenge or reject in my own practice. This includes any ideas that this practice is just for 'me' to attain 'enlightenment' and transcend beyond any sort of worldly displeasure so I may levitate on a cloud and experience heavenly bliss for eternity. I do this practice because it allows me to be more available and present in the world as I become more willing to be present to myself.
I would also really love to just hear from and connect with you, so, again, please don't hesitate to reach out! I leave soon!
Here is a link the IMS's page description of the retreat: https://www.dharma.org/retreat-description/?id=491
A final note,
If you are comfortable with it, please add your mailing address while you are donating, so that I may send you a token of my appreciation <3
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