I don’t have much to say about the tenth day. You get to talk again. It’s pretty much over, but you stay there. They tell you it’s a shock absorber, but I never felt that way about it. Not in three courses.
My last course I remember that I had a cell in the pagoda and spent the first several hours of the “allowed-to-talk-now” time in there. Avoiding people to an extent, but really just knowing that the stillness achieved was too easily lost and that as soon as it is meditation becomes an issue of maintenance instead of proactive work.
On my first course though I remember being glad it was over, surprised to hear all the voices, but almost immediately sorry that it played out that way. The sensation of being there loses a little gravitas and gains a little something you don’t want, but is of course no less welcome.
Jokes are made.
People talk about the pain as if the mental side weren’t really the thing that tripped everyone up. The thing that makes everyone want to leave while simultaneously keeping them there. I remember saying that I wanted to leave on the fourth day to a few people and that I’d asked.
“That’s nothing. I asked to leave on the first, third, and seventh day.”
Somebody joked about never having asked to leave, but wanting desperately for someone to bring pizza.
You do learn something new though. A very short form of meditation that is meant to end your regular practice. When you are feeling the “free flow” and all that Hallmark love for yourself and others. It’s the only visualization that’s allowed. It’s called Metta, and it’s essentially sending out your positive vibes. Wishing those that you love peace and liberation from suffering. Wishing strangers. Wishing your enemies. Wishing all living beings peace.
It’s a real nice thought and you always buy it. I do anyway. I’ve been pretty convinced since all of this that no one really does anything hurtful to anyone else for any other reason than personal misery. Happy people just don’t think to be ass holes. It’s not fun. I can remember every little d-bag thing I ever did because I just didn’t have the energy or positive vibes to put the effort in. And it was never about the victim of my jerkiness. It was always me feeling like crap and wanting someone else to change it for me by working harder or driving better or whatever. Nothing is really worth getting upset about, but you do just the same.
Thanks for reading. Sadu amigos, Sadu, Sadu.