Friday, September 11, 2009

Confirmation of application receipt & a suggestion

I'm a little late in reporting this...but on September 6th, we received confirmation from Dhamma Patapa that they had received our applications.  They also sent an email to each of us suggesting that we re-consider taking the course at the same time sense it is often difficult to follow the no-contact/no-interaction rule.  I replied, reassuring them that we had read and intent to abide by the code of conduct.

This evening a friend of mine came in and said his daughter attended the course with some friends of hers.  He said they left after 3 days, "because it was boring".  Interesting observation.  I guess I am surprised that if she read all the material on the web site before attending she would have expected anything less than "boring".  It's pretty clear to me that there is no physical movement or interaction, no exercise, no yoga, no other forms of meditation, prayer, etc.  No books, no radio, no TV, no internet, no journals.  Meditation for 10 hours 45 minutes each day.  I would expect boring, wouldn't you?

Now let me explain what I mean when I say I would "expect boring".  Boring in the sense of no entertainment or interaction.  You are meditating.  If you read about Insight Meditation (which is what they are teaching), you would understand that it is not meditation visualization to music.  It's literally trying to quiet the mind and do nothing else for 10 days.  Buddhism has never been real big on complex and long-winded explanations.  They give you something to ponder and discover for yourself what the truth is at the core of what they have presented to you.

I am very much looking forward to this (somewhat scary) challenge.  I know that I will succeed.  There is no doubt about that.  I know that it will be extremely difficult.  It is curiousity that fuels me.  I am curious about learning the traditional technique from properly trained teachers.  I am curious about finding out how long it will take before my mind will finally slow down and run out of things to say.  I am curious to see what will happen when my mind does finally quiet.

Please understand that I am not ridiculing or making light of her experience.  Her experience is just as valid as anyone else.  The only thing that I question is if she had a true understanding of what she was signing up for when she did.  If she did not, then I can fully understand why she would have been so unhappy.

I am looking forward to the challenge of overcoming physical and mental discomfort and accepting things as they are.  Forever changing, always in flux.They will come and they will go.  Nothing is permanent.

It's the mind-part I'm struggling with.  I'm working on that now in my meditations.


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