Happy thoughts, Malaysia

Kechara beginners meditation retreat

September 26, 2015

Meditation has circled around me for a while now – I’ve worked at a company that promotes mindfulness and meditation for 3 years and I’ve tried to meditate, I really did, but I just couldn’t get it right. I always thought it’s something that you either can or can not do. And since this year is very much about personal growth and overcoming and challenging some of the beliefs I have, I thought I’d give meditation another try. But if you know me, you’d know that I need to “learn the rules of the game” first, so to speak, so I headed to a two-day meditation retreat to study the basics.

Learning meditation basics

Image by Jennifer Yuen @ Kechara Forest Retreat

Actually it was more like this: the day I though I’d give meditation another round or trials, someone from the team posted about the upcoming retreat and that she just came back from one and loved it and swoosh! went the thought: “Oh my, synchronicity! It’s meant to be” and next thing you know, I’m already arranging the details with Kechara people. What’s Kechara?

Kechara is a Buddhist organisation. “Using creative and contemporary methods to reach the spiritual seeker via their natural interests, be it reading, shopping, art, travel, dining, etc, Kechara seeks to provide a comfortable and nurturing environment for spiritual aspirants to learn and equip themselves with tools to develop inner and outer peace.” So back to meditation.

The retreat teaches the basics, how to sit during meditation, how to breathe, what to do, what’s contemplative meditation, what’s walking meditation, how to eat and meditate, awareness through movement class, sunrise meditation. All that in two days at a beautiful place, built with lots of love and taken great care of. Oh, and the food is amazing.

While I was writing this, a new article came out on Kechara founder’s, Tsem Rinpoche’s blog: “It is a misconception to think that only Buddhists or Hindus can meditate. Those who believe this do not understand the true meaning of meditation. Meditation is a method through which one can calm the mind and achieve a state of deepened consciousness. Everyone wants a peaceful and stress-free life, and the processes and principles of meditation have been scientifically proven to yield these desired results. On top of that, there are many other benefits that one can achieve from engaging in meditation, resulting in greater productivity and happiness in both work and home life.”

Meditation in nature

Image by Jennifer Yuen @ Kechara Forest Retreat

And, adding to that, it won’t take long to see the results. Meditation and calligraphy, to me, are some of the most rewarding activities these days because I can see progress and results of effort put into these activities so fast. With meditation though, you see its impact when you DON’T meditate for a while. Like those good vitamins that you get used to taking and then you miss a pill for a day and your hairs starts falling out. Wait, what?

Jokes aside, meditation is awesome and I’m very grateful to have learnt it and that’s it’s part of my life now. It’s a pity it’s so fussed about these days in the media, that it’s almost intimidating for many people to approach. But hey, people were intimidated by brushing their teeth every day a few decades back, so high hopes for meditation to stick around and become a new habit for the humanity.

I’ve also done a five-day silent retreat with them (which is an expanded version of a two-day one). FIVE days in silence, people! Yes, I can see you, Vipassana attendees, smirking, but to those of you who haven’t locked yourselves in a cave for 10 days, trust me, silence for the whole five days is definitely a refreshing experience.

p.s Kechara opened a registration for their upcoming retreats, so if you’re looking for a beginners meditation retreat in Malaysia, check out their schedule.

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