I recently attended a day long silent retreat. Some friends have made comments such as “ohh lovely, how relaxing” but it was really tiring – a whole day of brain training to guide my attention away from thoughts and into the present moment.
The course leader made a comment that I found very interesting and poignant. He was talking about the guilt we often feel about taking time out to meditate and the constant push from thoughts that there are other “more important” things to do (work, washing, ironing, socialising etc. etc.). He reminded the group though, that whenever we practice it is of course an act of kindness towards ourselves and looking after our own minds but equally will have a big impact on our friends, family, loved ones and wider community – through our enhanced relationships with everyone. Therefore regular practice is not a selfish act at all and can really make big positive changes in our lives and the lives of people around us.