Have you ever cried listening to music, lol? A year ago, I was on my way back from Wisconsin to Minneapolis. I put on a random song that popped on my youtube feed and tears rolled off my eyes. It was happy tears. It felt so good to listen to music after 11 days. As many of you know, I am crazy about music and I listen to music almost all the time. So, why didnt I listen to music for so many days? Cuz I was on a silent retreat for 10 days.

Sipping my coffee, I am thinking that I have postponed this blog for almost a year. I was planning to write this right after I got back but here I am writing after a year. May be this is the right time. It was fall, trees were all green, yellow, orange. It was a much needed break for me. I was going through a lot mentally, emotionally. I used to be strong. I used to be confident. I wondered where that girl disappeared. Some days, I watched my own SB – Be Happy videos, and wondered where did she go? All I wanted was to be me again, to get myself back. But, I felt like my mind was being controlled by someone else. I had to go, to find myself again.

There were a bunch of people who came to the retreat center. We left all of our belongings and we were not allowed to communicate with any other human in any sort of way. The meditation technique was originally taught by Lord Buddha 2500 years ago and certain rules and boundaries were placed to maintain the originality of his teaching. So, the journey of going within began. We meditated from 4:30am to 8pm with couple breaks in between. We had an hour teaching after meditation every night. We ate vegetarian food which was the hardest part for me lol. Sometimes, I used to think of salmon and sushi while meditating. First couple days were hard. We get so busy in our lives that we never get silent and look within. But when we do, we get to see many things, good and bad. It is not an easy thing to look so deeply into ourselves, our life. Coincidently, there was “Be Happy” written all over the retreat center, in the restroom, meditation hall, and the teachings. I felt like I was in the right place.

From the third day, we were told not to move while meditating. Oh God, back pain, numbness, sometimes the whole body ached but we were told to just feel the sensation and let it go. Every day we saw the leaves changing colors, it was fall thank god not winter lol. It was a perfect time to learn and experience change so deeply. We were experiencing change on a cellular level in our body, feeling every sensation in our body. We were experiencing change in nature, the leaves changing colors, and falling. My unforgettable moment was when I was standing under a tree and the leaves were falling like rain. It was such a beautiful moment to experience. We were experiencing change on a universal level, the moon changing its phase from being full to being a completely new moon. It was a blissful experience. After completing 10 days, we were allowed to communicate with other people in the group. I am usually not a talker but I remember talking so much. I met Sadixya and I remember talking to her for an hour. It felt so good to just talk lol. I met so many great people, some became great friends.

Meditation is a powerful tool. I believe implementing meditation as a part of our daily routine can change our lives drastically. My parents sent me to a buddhist monastery when I was 11 years old, I lived like a monk for 12 days. It is a tradition in our country for girls to be inside for 12 days and then marry Sun God. There is usually a huge party during this ceremony. I was little disappointed as a little girl that I was sent to become a monk instead and no party, no celebration. Lol I loveee to celebrate, I love parties. Now, I realize how that childhood experience shaped me become the person I am today. And I am truly grateful towards my parents.

What did I learn from this silent journey? 

The only thing that is constant in life is change. And the cause of human suffering is us clinging to good moments and trying to avoid bad moments. The truth is everything changes. Good times as well as bad times, they will eventually pass and all we have is this moment, now. When we learn to accept this never ending change, life just flows. Understanding this concept by experiencing it from a cellular level to a universal level was profound. Finding myself again was a spiritual journey. I am so grateful.

We worry about our future and we ponder our past. Past is gone and the future is yet to come. It is a waste of our God given present when we live in the past or the future. Living the present moment like a beautiful present from the universe is the only way to fully live life. Time on this beautiful planet is limited. Be your best version, live joyfully and spread happiness wherever you are.

Love is the answer to everything! And everything is within us. Just make some time to look within 🙂

Sujata Bajracharya


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