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May 17, 2019 22:22:35

My origin story for meditation

by @jasonleow | 551 words | 285🔥 | 323💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 285🔥
Total posts: 323💌
Total words: 145879 (583 pages 📄)

@lucjah just asked a really good question that no one had ever asked me before, about my meditation origin story. 


maybe you can include, as Im curious, how your meditating path started... What is your... meditating tradition (method)? Have you attended any meditating retreats?


The dates are a blur, but here's a rough timeline:


2005 - I started getting curious about meditation after chancing upon a book at Borders bookstore in London. It's probably Peace Is Every Step or The Miracle Of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh. I was working and living in London for a year, and the extended time away had given me lot of space to work through the quarter life crisis I was going through then. That's a whole different story for another time, another post. But anyway, it was in such an emotionally difficult time that I sought out meditation. 


2006 - My working holiday visa is up, and my time in London comes to a close. I decide to use the tax returns I claimed back to travel for 6 months in France. I love France. I worked in Discovery Channel in London and one of my jobs there was to monitor the Discovery Travel & Living UK channel, and after watching so many episodes of travel shows in the south of France, I'm hooked. But I hate doing the whirlwind backpacker thing where you spend a day or two in a city then Eurail out to the next. So I decide to do slow travel, reflect before heading home. Which better place to reflect than in monasteries? I decide to go to Plum Village. 


Late 2006 - I do a one month retreat in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Toulouse, south of France. Then travel in Marseilles, Aix en Provence before heading to Bordeaux for my 3 month retreat in Plum Village. It's my first time there, but I decide to leap into the deep end into meditation anyway. Learned loads about mindfulness, mindful living, sitting, standing, eating, walking, working, everything. Life-changing experience. Nothing is the same again.


2007-2014 - Continues to learn more about this tradition. It's like something opened up. And I was hungry for more. Also turned serious vegan. The no-meat, no-dairy, no-egg, no-animal-derivatives-of-any-kind, no-leather, no-honey type. The next 7 years, went on many retreats, local and overseas. Tried out the meditation traditions of Korea, Tibet. Went to India for a pilgrimage. Then back to India again for a month of yoga after that. Even dabbled a bit in the shamanistic traditions. I was basically doing my apprenticeship rounds in the various ancient wisdom lineages. 


Late 2014 - My last big retreat back at Plum Village in 2014. This was also the last summer my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh was healthy. Not long after, he had a serious stroke. He's now back in Vietnam, living at his root temple, probably to live out his last days. 


2015-2019 - practice is ongoing, but my practice intensity are fading. If I count the seasons of my spiritual journey in cycles of 7 years, the first 7 years had been about education, the next 7 was slowly stagnating. Now, I'm on the cusp of the next 7 year cycle. I feel restless and eager to take it to the next level. Perhaps more learning? But would it be just confined to the meditative traditions? I don't know. But 2020 onwards will be interesting to observe.  

From Jason Leow's collection:

  • 1

    @jasonleow thanks for sharing.

    Back then, I thought meditation retreat is just an imaginary thing that I could only see in online videos. I realized it was real since I'm replying to you who actually experienced it. I'll definitely put it in my bucket list ^_^. I can't believe the thing that I was reading 6 years ago will help me to connect to people.

    By the way what a great long journey on your meditation :)

    Chris 🤔🇵🇭 avatar Chris 🤔🇵🇭 | May 18, 2019 00:34:53
    • 1

      @chrisdeuda Thanks! Glad to hear it's made it into your bucket list. i think you won't be disappointed you did. ;) May this be the first step in your own great long journey of meditation.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | May 18, 2019 09:35:23
  • 1

    @jasonleow super cool!!!

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | May 17, 2019 17:16:50
    • 1

      @basilesamel thanks! 🙏

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | May 17, 2019 23:45:20
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