For the past 3 days, I went to serve on a meditation retreat. From the moment we left, I noticed that all of my decisions and thinking were greatly flawed. Not only did I mistakenly think that I had to be at the Toronto Coach Terminal, I was so stubborn to not let anyone help me, because this had to be about me. I needed to do this alone, and no one else.
But after having greatly failed to even depart on time, I had to get my parents to drive — and to the wrong bus station! — and to end up dragging my dad all the way to the meditation centre through the snowy weather and dangerous road conditions. I quickly realized that this had happened last time, when all my calls were wrong, and realized that I really needed to listen to other people. And to stop with the negativity.
These meditation centres are located on the outskirts of town in a rural area, where it is conducive to meditate. This centre in Egbert has some dorms for both men and women, it houses about 80-100 people at a time, and they are currently building a larger dining hall. They have a separate meditation hall and some office portables and reserved areas for servers.
So I made a strong, but not so strong, lackadaisical commitment to drop the negativity and listen to other people, because I know I almost died — at least in my mind — not listening to other people and trying to do it “my way” all the time. But repetitive failures and continuous reminders are maybe starting to seep in that I am trying harder to listen to other people, and so far, it worked out for the better every time I did.
Another thing I noticed was, when I started to listen to other people, I can get out of my head. And the realization that I’m practically always stuck inside my head made me realize why I was always so dead wrong and making a lot of wrong turns quite often. It also made me realize that I am well… lazy. I had realized that the last time I was here, but not only do I dislike having to go through the trouble of learning new things and going to work, I also… (and as I’m reading this back I realize how negative I am of myself — and critical! Which is probably the reason why I edit my articles 200 times before I publish them.)
But the biggest take-away from it all was that I am very, very stupid, unaware, and unequanimous. It was very much humbling to meet a high school student who could do a great job communicating and working with other people when I couldn’t. It was also enlightening to see people who had a tremendous depth of tolerance, patience, and understanding for others and themselves, when I certainly fall short in this department.
And I realize now that the reason why I am short in these qualities of love and tolerance is not because I lack the skills or the ability to acquire these positive traits, but because of the negativity I carry that refuses to practice these skills of tolerance and patience.
And lastly, while I thought I was good with details, I am really not. And I messed up the simplest recipes over and over again. Like I couldn’t tell the difference between a tbsp and a tsp when it was written in front of me. And the biggest sting was in realizing that I get overwhelmed by the slightest bit of anything. I envy the people who have walked far on the path and have developed themselves as much as they did, and I certainly don’t want to put in the work. (And that’s okay, because that will change too.)
But as I have heard, the biggest lesson I will need to drive home and continue to remind myself is that it is a slow process, and progress comes slowly. And lastly that we need to be patient with ourselves and even with these things that we’re not so proud of. It’s important to take time showing ourselves love and compassion for the things that we’re not good at. Everyone makes mistakes and we all need to listen to other people from time to time. We need to let go of our own ways of thinking and let go of the moments that is in the past. Moving forward requires work, but I am positive that better things are to come! We will become more positive, proactive, and compassionate, and things will always change!
I am sincerely thankful for the people that I’ve met and the lessons that I’ve learned. Though it hurts to admit all these things, the worst of the storm is just up until the moment you acknowledge these things to yourself. After that, it’s like meh… I’m thankful for the high school student I met, and I’m thankful that I listened to him. I am thankful for the people who showed me all the love, positivity, and tolerance — especially through my mistakes and negativity — and I’m thankful that I got to learn from them. And while it may be a little early to thank myself for something that I haven’t done yet, I will learn to be more tolerant and patient with the fact that I am.