Sunday, March 27, 2011

Going (H)ooooooommmm...

Whew! Another Vipassana meditation retreat completed. Props to all my Vipassana peeps this year. You guys rock. Figuratively.
I'm in the airport in Dallas waiting for a flight home and having my first cup of coffee in eleven days. Needless to say, as I cradle the warm cup in my hands and sip the dark nectar, I'm having a hard time maintaining my equanimity. In fact, I'm having a hard time not reinacting the infamous "When Harry Met Sally" orgasmic scene, but I'm afraid the TSA would take it the wrong way.
Ten days. Ten days of Noble Silence (no talking, writing, eye contact or communication of any sort with the other meditators), vegetarian meals, meditation sessions or instruction from 4:30 am to 9:00 pm, no sex, cell phones, tv, or books. It's incredibly liberating, and extremely challenging; the most physically and mentally challenging thing I've ever done.
Given my martial arts background, that's saying something.
Every year my experience has been completely different. This year was deeper than last year, not as intense as the first (hard to top a new student's experience in intensity). Each time I attend I'm able to get rid of more misery, more suffering, improve my awareness and equanimity, tally up some good parma, and come back to the real world with more compassion and luuuuurve for my fellow human beings.
It is a bit of a shock though to come from the Vipassna environment to the deluge of chaos at the airport. The bombardment is almost painful.


  1. Wow, you really had me up to the whole no books thing. Of course, that may be exactly why I should go on this kind of retreat...

    Glad to have you back in our Starbucks and Pizza Hut world though, you're posts have been missed!

    I thought it was just 2 days, like a weekend thing? You know like 48 hours tops! BUT TEN DAYS!
    Crap Holly, that is like (whoa!) TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY HOURS! That is like my 2 days and then still another TWO HUNDRED hours to go! CRAP!!!
    ...still thinking
    ...and thinking

    Yeah, no, I still can't even wrap my head around that!
    I was having trouble thinking I could ever go on one of those things back when I thought it was 48 hours! TEN DAYS!
    Holly, you amaze me!

  3. Yeah, I'm with both Courtney and Kate on this one. 10 days is craziness! You have some...I don't know what you have, but I sure don't have it! You should be commended!!!

    I would have lasted maybe a day. Maybe. But the no books thing would have driven me nuts. I say we find a retreat where all you do is read for 10 days and I'm so there. Of course, I'd have to discuss it with my husband first...

  4. Ten days... yeah, around day four when I have my mini-nervy b, I'm wondering the same thing you guys are "What the F*CK was I thinking??!!"

    By the end though, I've experienced a complete turnaround and it becomes an amazing experience.