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Meditation Retreat: Day 4

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

Home Truths
The morning gong sounded off at 4am and I headed out to meditate.

The fourth day began with more of the same. More memories, more escapism, more pain in the back, legs, and knees. I had started repeating to myself something I had heard in the evening discourse. "The past is dead, and the future can not happen without living in the present."

I repeated that every time my brain would throw up something from the past. And it worked; I never went through the same memory twice. I didn't really have too many problems with the future, but the weird recollections about movies and books were something I wasn't sure how to deal with. Eventually, I had to start telling myself that I wasn't going anywhere, and I slowly started to accept awareness of where I was. Which was a pretty nice place. During the breaks, we would all walk around the outdoors and look at things. I spent one hour investigating every tiny weedy flower that grew in the lawn around the camp. There were also three horses and a few goats in the nearby fenced area that were fun to watch.

For lunch that day, we had some great baked tofu and they brought out the leftover cookies. I took two that day, out of principle, and while they weren't as good as the day before, they were still pretty tasty. I spent about twenty minutes thinking about missing the loml and my cats and the nature of reality. I cried a little. I napped a little and had a strange dream about death of ego.

The meditating was going really well (if you account for the persistent battle for mental focus) and that evening we all kept progressing in the Vipassana technique. and while meditating again, I realized how much suffering I had caused myself. I cried some more. I cried enough to mess up the t-shirt I was wearing that day (having no kleenex), which was too bad.. because the weather had turned hot hot hot, and that was the only bona fide short sleeve shirt I had brought.

Speaking of crying, it was kind of hard sometimes to tell what was going on with other people. There was a lot of sniffling going on. There was also a lot of sneezing. It was almost like half the people had caught colds (later on I learned that the tree pollen was the culprit). But given the lack of communication, other people kept on being a source of mystery. Eventually I realized that you really had to pay a lot of attention if you wanted to figure out if other people needed help, especially when they couldn't talk. but I suppose you can think of most people that way, really.

Another day was over, and I headed to bed feeling good about things.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 9, 2008 11:36 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Meditation Retreat: Day 3.

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