Saturday, December 22, 2007

I must be out of my f*#@ing mind!

I am currently in northern Thailand preparing to start my meditation retreat in two days time. That means I will be spending Christmas and New Year's in silent meditation. I am, to be quite honest, terrified of what the coming ten days of meditation could be like. I will be studying Vipsanna (otherwise known as Insight) meditation. The focus of this is to look inward, being mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and physical state. This is a very intense meditation, and when I went to sign up for the course yesterday a girl was crying and dropping out of the course (she had been there six days). What makes this so intense are the strict rules that I will be obliged to follow. A standard day will look like this:

Pray from 3:30 a.m. until 6:00 a.m.

Breakfast from 6:00 until 7:00 chewing each bite fifty times to be mindful of my food.

Pray from 7:00 until 12:00 followed by one more meal (the last of the day).

Meditate or walk in silence until 10:00 p.m. then go to bed.

No talking, reading, writing, or listening to music is allowed. We are asked also to try to refrain from making eye contact with other students.

So that is what is ahead of me. Perhaps I am crazy for doing this, perhaps not. I do know that this entire trip has been one long journey, not just around the world, but into myself as well. I visit new places every few days, always meeting new people and seeing new things. While it might sound like I am living in a constant state of change the only thing that I find to be changing is myself. New people and new places seem to be a constant, and it is my sense of self that is the variable. Ever changing. Yet, if this trip can truly be compared to a mathematical equation then this variable, this sense of self, is approaching a limit and in doing so an answer to the equation is beginning to emerge.

I happen to know that there are a few math majors out there reading this blog so please let me know if, as a biochem major who was only required to take two years of math, this metaphor makes any sense. I was always a bit of a dunce when it came to calculus. Man...I must have to much time on my hands to becoming up with this stuff! All jokes aside I hope that the metaphor made sense (at least to those of you with degrees in mathematics).

I will be checking back in in a couple of weeks. So until that time...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fortnight!

5 comments:

Stina said...

Ha ha...check it out. I found 30 whole minutes to read your blog and I am jealous, impressed and bookmarking it above the local news for future reading. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! Stina

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helen flanagan said...

Hi Gus: Just talked to your father and he said you are not in meditation now. He said you were in Laos. Take care of yourself and a HAPPY NEW YEAR. lOVE, gRANDMA AND DIANNE

helen flanagan said...

HI GUS; HAPPPY NEW YEAR. LOVE, HELEN FLANAGAN