Bill Hayward – Transformation through awareness

Authentic, Leader, Silent Warrior, Teacher

Bill you started 2008 by doing quite an intensive Meditation Retreat, tell us a little bit about that.

I have declared 2008 as the year of transformation for myself. In order to kick-off this transformation, I attended a 10-day meditation retreat. This retreat was phenomenal!!! I mean, WOW, what an experience that I will never forget. This style of meditation, Vipassana, was so intense. Imagine not being able to talk and make eye contact with anyone for 10 days as well as being on a vegetarian diet.

This experience not only taught me about discipline, but it also taught me about centering myself, purifying my mind and eradicating suffering from my life. I walked out of that experience with such a different outlook on life. Incorporating this meditation has been a valuable resource in my coaching practice. I have been able to tap more deeply into my intuition and it has allowed me to help my clients deepen their learning about themselves. I look forward to keeping this meditation experience alive for the rest of my life.

Sounds quite difficult. What was your biggest challenge?

You would think that the biggest challenge would be not talking for 10 days; however, it wasn’t. I think the most difficult part was staying focused on my breathing and sensations and not letting my mind wander.

Another challenge was staying still for a certain length of time without moving; this was also another discipline to master. Mastering this art of stillness provides more focus on the awareness of sensations in our bodies and to take note that these sensations (good and bad) are not permanent and that there is no need to react to them, but just to be aware of them. This awareness is tied to life and how we do not always need to react and crave sensations and emotions. All this is linked to purifying the mind and eradicating suffering from our lives.

How are you keeping this alive everyday?

“Being in the experience” for 10 days was very enlightening. I have incorporated meditation in my morning routine, which helps “kick-off” the day to a great start. I keep my meditation environment very simple by reserving a small space in my office with a meditation pillow. During the day, I add focus on my breathing which helps me in the clearing of my mind and staying focused.

What areas of your life do you see most transformed by this experience?

Adding meditation to my life has really helped me slow down and relax. On top of my coaching, I also have a full time job. It has helped me to stay more focused on my work and think more clearly. It has also helped me in my relationship with my other half as well as with my friends.

What would you recommend to someone who is considering making meditation a part of their lives?

Since our daily lives have become more complicated with more responsibilities, new technologies, and added stress; I fully recommend anyone to find a way to take care of themself and incorporate meditation into their daily life. My course was pretty aggressive; however, I came with very little to no meditation experience and dived right into it. I would do it over again; I plan to take another course later this year.

Vipassana meditation is taught around the world. My course was taught in in northern California and is provided twice a month. One can find more information on this meditation by checking out

Thank you Bill, as a fellow meditator I agree it is a great way to take care of yourself, I find Jack Kornfield PhD very powerful too.

© The Red Barn Cooperative

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