Friends, Romans, and Countrymen…
Tomorrow I will disappear.
I am once again retreating into the mist-shrouded abode of vipassana meditation. I don’t just say that to be clever- the center where I will be practicing is shrouded in mist, and high up on a mountaintop. I have practiced vipassana before, but never this particular style, which was created by an Indian man named Goenka. The Goenka vipassana is ten days long, and in addition to meditating between ten and twelve hours every day, and not speaking, there is also a new, added challenge I have never faced before – one is not to make eye contact with other students. Aaii yai yai!! It sounds intense.
Everyone I’ve spoken to who has done the course has an opinion about it. Most are good. However, a gruff old Australian man I have befriended has gone through the course seven times. After his seventh Goenka vipassana, he decided that meditating twelve hours a day for ten days is crazy. I can’t argue with him there. But I still want to do it. He is in the habit of telling me that everything I want to do is a bad idea- Don’t buy that blanket, it’s a huge rip-off! Don’t eat at that restaurant, it’s owned by Kashmiris, and everyone knows they’re terrible cooks! Don’t read that book, the author is a fraud! When I asked him if he had any last minute advice for me before beginning the course, he said, Don’t do it. I said, But Jaman, you’ve done it seven times, how can you tell me not to do it? He grinned and rolled his eyes in that strange way that he has, but couldn’t answer. I think he was just being a smartass. Nonetheless. If you have any well wishes or positive thoughts to send my way, please do. I could use all the love and support you have to offer!!!
Needless to say, I won’t be writing during that time, nor will I be reading, or talking, or doing much of anything besides meditation. But I will be back in about two weeks, and hopefully I’ll be wildly refreshed, with a plethora of stories to tell. I love you all… wish me luck!!!