|Dormitories, Dhama Dipa|
In relation to the confusion that I experience with non-verbal communication, I found this arrangement conducive to my experience of the retreat, as I felt it freed me from such confusion which can sometimes lead to anxiety, and thus a distraction. What is also just as confusing for me and for many other people diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome is the effect that our own body language is having on others around us when we are often least aware. Where this becomes a source of anxiety is that one can't often be sure of how others feel about them, and can be a bit of a shock is something thinks that we are 'not paying attention' through lack of eye contact or are being intrusive through prolonged eye contact.
Initially, I had set out to do this retreat to make a fresh start with meditation practice. Though I have practised meditation for almost ten years, and though one of the purposes of meditation and mindfulness practice is to come out of your comfort zone, what I had been finding of late was that the approach to routine that I had built up around my personal practice was having the reverse effect of creating a comfort zone, as well as building up anxiety over not having practised yet or should I or should I not meditate today. Courtesy of these effects I had been experiencing, I felt that a 10-day Vipassana retreat with continual practice sessions and experience of meditation not necessary would enable me to start from a beginners approach and would give me the continuity to grow into the practice, allowing any effects, including physical sensations, to unfold as they naturally occurred.
|Meditation Hall, Dhama Dipa|
|Walking area at sunrise, Dhama Dipa|
With awareness developed from continual patience and practice, one can eventually exert more control over the mind, enabling a person with Asperger's Syndrome to make their Asperger characteristics work for them rather than being controlled by them, including helping to notice and change the type of attention that they give to different bodily sensations, thoughts and avoidance tendencies.