This is the third part of a multi-part story. To read the first part, click here.
It is made clear that this is meditation bootcamp. You, Sondra Stinglash, Ms. I-Meditate-Every-Day-Most-Days-Twice, Ms. Liar-Liar-Pants-On-Fire, are so out of your league here. We will wake at 5:30 am. We will begin meditating at 6 am for one hour, the first hour of our daily non-stop meditation marathon, stopping only to eat and only doing that twice a day. No snacks. No naps. We will NOT be switching cushions or lying down or coughing or breathing or any other monkey business in the meditation hall. We will not be writing or reading or looking at anyone or anything. The only verbs we will be performing during this retreat are: meditating, sleeping, eating, walking, urinating and defecating.
Got that? I want to go home.
If you have never been here before (I haven’t) then you need to meet us in the meeting room after this session for a very important mandatory newcomer orientation. Of course. Of course. I will be there.
But I was so uncomfortable that last hour, the first of my too-many-to-count hours of sitting-just-sitting. I must find a bolster, cushion, pillow, chair, meditation bench combo that works for me otherwise I might just not make it. Seriously. I. might. just. not. make. it.
In record time, I nabbed me a meditation bench from the meditation bench parking area and set it up on my cushion. Now, to the meeting room. I glide in my slippers, gazing down as I make my way to the mandatory meeting.
I arrive, only to find the door closed. The meditation bench nab (It couldn’t have been more than two minutes!) took too much time and cost me the mandatory orientation meeting. I can’t knock. This is a silent meditation retreat. I can’t open the door. What if everyone looks at me?
I go to my room. I want to go home.
I am missing all the important stuff. This is the meeting where they tell you the protocol so that you don’t accidentally do something that is irreverent. inadmissible. loud. Now I will accidentally do all those things. And I can’t ask, you know, find out what I missed. Because I AM NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK.
I do the only thing I can. I curl up in the fetal position on the bed and cry softly, reminding myself that I signed up for this, that I paid money for this, that it is isn’t going to get any better and that the whole registration thing was a sign that I shouldn’t have come here and that it is only natural for me to feel very very sorry for myself.
I want to go home.
All cried out, and feeling more than a wee bit silly, I get up, get myself together and grab my little notebook that I wasn’t supposed to bring, but did anyway; I grab a pen and go upstairs to the entryway where the schedule hangs. Galvanized, I begin to copy down the schedule into my notebook. Look at me. I am getting with the program. I have got the schedule now. I will be on time for everything. I will be in the know. I will be a good little meditator. I can do this.
In the middle of writing down the schedule, the lights go out on me and someone says (SAYS. Do the rules not apply to you, dude?) “You are supposed to be in the meditation hall right now.”
Shit. Shit. Shit.
Nice touch with turning out the lights. Very well played.
I want to go home.
(End part three. To be continued.)
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