In order for the teachings of the Buddha to remain vital, it is necessary for each succeeding generation and culture to validate the Dhamma with a dedicated meditation practice, epitomized by attending retreats. It is the custom of the Orlando Insight Meditation Group to provide opportunities for members who’ve recently completed a significant retreat to describe their experience during a Wednesday night meeting.
Tommy recently completed a 5-day retreat with Paul Linn of Florida Vipassana. The benefit of these opportunities is allowing the participants to “think our loud” about what they learned. Much of what is experienced on a silent retreat happens outside of conscious awareness. We also know that recently acquired memories “metabolize” in the mid-brain for several days before being consolidated into long-term memory. Verbalizing the experience integrates the insights about the practice for the returning retreatant, while listening to the report hopefully inspires the listeners to dedicated meditation practice, including retreats.