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Meditation Retreat: Day 9

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

Its the little things
The 4am gong went off and I headed to the meditation hall. Pre-dawn had become one of my favourite meditation times; it was peaceful and it kept the day peaceful as well. Meditation went well. I was still working on not straining my eyes and looking forward to breakfast (which coincidentally, occurred right at sunrise). As I headed in for my customary granola and yogurt, I saw a little sign posted. Since we weren't supposed to talk, most communication was through signs. Like, "Please don't wear shoes inside. It makes the floor dirty." or "Please label and re-use the same water cup". Anyway, the sign I saw today was one of the most exciting yet. It said "Noble Silence will end at 10am tomorrow."

wow. We could start talking. tomorrow. oddly enough, it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. Earlier in the week, I had been full of talk. Things I wanted to say, things I should've said, things I couldn't wait to say. but sometime in the last couple of days, it had all gone away and now, there was nothing to say. That morning I skipped the granola and yogurt in favour of toast with jam and some fruit.

The rest of the day was rather speculative. I spent my meditation breaks looking at things. I had finally figured out that the crazy looking contraption in the playground was a wheelchair swing. The rudimentary sundial I had started constructing earlier had been knocked over by a meditating sister on a walk. Some of the other women had gotten into a horse petting frenzy during lunch. I suppose after 10 days of no contact, you got a little odd. and I would be lying if I didn't admit that after day 6, I had started hugging my pillow in my sleep (instead of resting my head on it).

Dinner was fruit and tea again. I finally decided to join the women in the fruit salad club, which I need to explain. Every day, until we ran out of bananas, we had the same fruit selection. We'd take our fruit in little bowls and sit around the dining hall or outside and eat our fruit like a herd of large apes. Hand to mouth, eyes fixed on our bowls, not a word to be spoken. But after several days, people had started getting crazy. People had started with simple cuts, slicing oranges, removing the end of banana peels. This quickly evolved into segmenting the orange slice so that there was no trace of skin (the fancy orange slicing), slicing bananas up into neat sections, and butchering the seeds out of apples. Eventually, people were building fruit salads and requesting leftover breakfast yogurt to mix in with it or sprinkling seeds and cinnamon or honey over it.

And that was the day. People were looking happier than they had in a while, in anticipation of tomorrow.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 20, 2008 3:50 PM.

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