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Meditation Retreat: Day 10

Note*
This is part of a multi-part posting about the 10 day Meditation Retreat I participated in. The names of the people I met have been changed, but for the most part, this is all as true as my biased and faulty memory can recall. I will not be describing the actual teachings/technique, not because I'm not allowed, but because I can't do them and you justice. If you would like to learn more about, you can go to Vipassana Meditation website

Pleased to meet you
The 4am gong went off and I got up, for what I believed would be my final 4:30am meditation session. I had thought that the excitement of being able to talk would have destroyed my concentration, but it didn't. I felt pretty good about things actually. I savored breakfast; I put jam and honey on my toast. Afterwards I walked around a bit and then decided to pack up my bag. I guess there was a little anticipation going on. Technically, we weren't allowed to leave until 7am the next day, but I had to do something.

At the next meditation block, the assistant teacher informed us that we would be allowed to talk as soon as this session was over, but we still needed to maintain silence in the meditation hall. So we all meditated and then... silence was over. Our session ended early, and we all shuffled outside. I think I waited to start talking. I waited until I saw Lana and Tammy, because I didn't really know any other people (other than what 10 days of observation had provided to me). And then we just started talking.. all of us, we talked about how we had felt and the weird things that had happened to us. In the course of the 2 hours before lunch, I managed to get sunburnt by not paying attention to the amount of sunlight - that's how much talking we did. Even lunch was strange, because it was so nice to just be able to say "thank you" and "after you". I discovered that some of the other women had gotten eyestrain just like me. At some point, it got to be too much. I had to walk away from people and take a quiet walk around the camp, several times actually.

We still had to make two more meditation sessions for the day, but they seemed so easy now compared to when we had started. And that night, instead of bunking down in silence, all the women in my cabin talked until lights out. It was amazing what I learned. It turned out that one of the women was pregnant and had morning sickness, which explained the puking. Another woman who had seemed perpetually unhappy had some serious chronic pain that she was dealing with. Once we could talk to each other, all the silly petty misunderstandings just fell away, and we were all so happy to meet each other. Because at least, we all knew what it had felt like to go through this ordeal.

At some point though, we all had to go to bed. There was still a 4:30am session to attend the next morning before we could leave. We all swapped e-mails and went to bed.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 21, 2008 7:33 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Meditation Retreat: Day 9.

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