Sorry to have been slow about debriefing about the intensive Vipassana course.
10 days..,.We arrived on Monday evening and settled in.
The air was electric...everyone got there early ( well most did)...and so we had 3 hours small talk (meditators are not good at small talk).
I had the joy of taking Maria in the car...part of the ride-share.......this in itself says something about the commitment of participants to each other....we were glad to offer lifts. Maria was really nice. Though an Australian by birth, she returned to her family's homeland aged 8, and ultimately ended up in that country's army...working in Brussels for NATO
Some how she discovered meditation.
We rather hit it off...though I am not sure she thought my driving was that great as we drove through the lovely road to Walker Flat...a narrow strip of the River Murray.
In the evening we had an easy supper...soup (vegetarian) and toast a la garlic.
We were led into the Meditation Hall men on ne side and women on the other. And then the Noble Silence began.
A word about The Noble Silence
Absolutely NO talking between anyone other than students (eg me et al) and teachers or managers.
The two older guys I was billeted with agreed that we would observe the Noble Silence...(personally I would have been crapped off if they had thought otherwise).
Well one of us struggled almost immediately with the Noble Silence. Half way through the night both of the other guys were snoring. And V got up about 1.45 a.m. and shook G...who was startled at being untimely awoken.
"Mate, mate...you've got to stop snoring, I can't get to sleep"
I didn't think this boded well, at the very least what was going to happen was that we were going to seethe in silence, unable to do much about the two people we shared with...who we didn't really know. And we had to be up by 4 a.m..
Any way we settled back to sleep and true to form the gong was struck at 4 and we bounded into the shower to be ready to go at 4.30 a.m.!
Two hours meditation, the last 45 minutes being recorded chanting which after 4 or 5 days got to me and I left them to it and went to either meditate on my bed! Or just to sit quietly.
Breakfast at 6.30 a.m. Separated dining areas for men and women. I observed at the end that it was quite OK to be separated...a lot less stressful. Though it's amusing to be with 20 guys vying for food . All food was vegetarian...breakfast is easy like that: Porridge, stewed fruit, muesli, various types of seed, yoghourt, ...and then those guys (panicking that they are not going to have enough food) have to make bulk toast!
So now it's 6.50.....and we've already been up for 3 hours.
Proper rest...learnt that it was good to actually go back to bed for an hour....more coming