Well people, I’m going back in for another silent retreat. I’ve wanted to do one for a while now, but haven’t been in a country that readily offered them. They are plentiful here in Thailand though and now that I’ve gotten my apartment all sorted out, I can clear my mind for bigger and better things; so into Vipassana retreat I go.
What does Vipassana mean, you ask? It means to see clearly. What I will see and with what clarity is anyone’s guess, but these experiences are generally life changing for the better. I remember thinking after the last silent retreat I did in India that it should be a required human experience. Why haven’t you guys signed up for one yet? LOL
I’ll start my mornings at 4:00am, not going to bed until 10:00pm, spending all waking hours navigating the superhighways of my brain. This retreat is a bit different than the last one as I’m not even able to write in a journal; that of course goes along with not talking, reading, listening to music or making eye contact with anyone. Oh, and I’ll only eat two meals a day, having no food after noon. Wow, when I write it all down like that it sounds like some strange form of self torture; all in the name of self development.
When you wake up this Sunday and are enjoying your morning coffee and preparing for your Mother’s Day celebrations, I’ll be silent. (I miss you mom!) When you’re making your Monday morning commute to work, I’ll be silent. When you joyfully leave work for Friday happy hour, I’ll still be silent, and probably starving! Then all through your fun packed weekend and halfway into your next work week I’ll still be hungry, sleep deprived and silent. Oyyy!
As I’m writing this the morning I leave, I’m feeling some strange uneasiness in my tummy and I’ve just thrown up. Did I eat something funny or was it that I just took my last malaria pill on an empty stomach? Oops. Could it be nerves? Nahhh. I was fine going into the last retreat; I was ready and determined. Now I’m in a different place entirely, both geographically and emotionally and it feels kind of strange that I don’t know anyone here. But I’m stronger now. Or am I? Maybe it’s all an illusion. It’s ok, I’ll have monks and wise sages to guide me through it.
Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, self-development – to see clearly. Right, uh-huh, good stuff.
I wish Siggy was here to walk me in.
I think I will smuggle a brownie in and eat it just before I enter the monastery.