This time without a poll.
I have an opportunity to attend a meditation retreat this weekend. I will have to use $125 from my savings to cover the registration fee.
At first I was excited because it is in my town so I will not have to spend any money to cover travel costs. And then I started thinking that $125 is a lot of money for anything at this time.
Then I started analyzing the program. It is not residential, which means that I will return home on Friday and Saturday nights, and it doesn't begin until Sunday afternoon (which will give me a chance to get to church). I will have to bring my lunch on Saturday or the organizers have suggested "lunch at local restaurants." The teachings will be led by a minister, based on the work of Pema Chodron (of whom I am a fan).
In the past I attended three meditation retreats. They were residential, meaning I stayed immersed in the environment for the entire program. They were mostly silent, even throughout the meals (which were all provided, and amazingly vegetarian). Each retreat was led by Buddhist practitioners.
I was going to register, but hesitated when I started thinking I should save my money for a more expensive, all-inclusive residential retreat. I got a lot of satisfaction out of them before. I'm also hesitant about having the retreat broken up across three days the way it is currently organized, because I am accustomed to total immersion in a retreat. And there's something about travelling to another city to immerse myself in the experience (I love road-tripping). I convinced myself that I could learn more about Pema by re-visiting her website, or reading the books I already have.
But then I'm afraid I might be passing up an opportunity to learn, and to engage in a community of like-minded people. We may not share the residential experience, but I may make meaningful connections regardless. But do I want to spend $125 to do so?
I can't decide, and they're waiting for an answer. Help.