Author Topic: Feeling extremely broken and guilty after quitting vipassana retreat  (Read 581 times)


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Hi all,

I had recently joined a vipassana camp and I had started benifitting from it. On day 2, I had some difficulty, but I made it. Unfortunately on day 3 morning, I saw a wall lizard crawling in my room and that was the final nail in the coffin. I immediately took assistant teacher's permission without disclosing the actual reason and fled the camp like a spineless coward.

Because of this, I am feeling quite guilty and broken. I shouldn't have done that. I have been cursing myself since then. Adjusting to the disciplined schedule as well as to the tedious meditation was something that reinvigorated me from Day 1. Unfortunately, a tiny lizard made me give up this life changing experience.

Just to let you know: I have a morbid fear of lizards. I can't stand their presence. My heart starts racing and my throat starts perspirating unusually. I am not worried about snakes and scorpions and centipedes which are ample in the area I live, however, I have an execrable phobia of lizards. I know that sounds absurd, but unfortunately this is what it is.

Coming to the point, can I rejoin the camp or do they blacklist me? I am constantly getting the feeling of being  useless. Now I passionatey want to finish the 10 day course. Is there a way to get rid of this skeptical feeling? Is there anybody out here who was unsuccessful on the1st try, but made it through later? Any suggestion or advice would help. Thanks for your time!


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Re: Feeling extremely broken and guilty after quitting vipassana retreat
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 11:54:40 PM »

I can't address your questions about blacklisting, unfortunately, which seems to be one of the main points of your post. However I actually met someone during my retreat who left during the ninth day on his first retreat, but he had come back for three subsequent ones. There were also a number of people dealing with panic disorders and who had panic attacks during the retreat. So I wouldn't worry, your situation isn't too unusual.

Let me say that I think you have a wonderful opportunity, namely your lizard phobia, for mindfulness and positive change. You may begin to try to find the root of your feelings, and see that they are just reactions to a stimulus, reactions that were previously beyond your control.

You of course know this already, but meditation may open you up to a new level of "knowing it."

With time, patience, and a little effort, you may find that these reactions diminish in intensity. You may even begin to find lizards a little bit cute.

Sometimes our reactions get the best of us. And, although I struggle with this myself, I know that guilt is a counterproductive feeling -- there is no reason to try to ruminate over the past.

Don't beat yourself up. When we make (what we perceive to be) mistakes, all we can do is get up and try again with the intention of doing better the next time. In meditation, that seems to be the recipe for success. You get knocked down, and with equanimity and awareness, you get back up. Over and over and over, again and again and again.



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