I went to the a special meditation room in the pagoda. That is to say I was assigned a room. Granted one. It’s a very mysterious place to first timers. It was off limits except for the one day I was given a cell to use, but I could see the old students coming and going for the whole course.
There are rules for the pagoda. And a different kind of weight. Similar in some ways to the weight of a roomful of people meditating in the open. Only it’s a building full of meditators in tiny closets.
The door inside is like an airlock and there are two doors to get through to get to that one. There are also signs about being quiet, about facing the center of the building, about being exceptionally respectful. When you come and go there is a sound of air being moved by the door. The airlock.
I went for the 4:30 to 6:30 time. I left after an hour though and went back to my tree. I didn’t feel anything special in the pagoda. It was very quiet and very still and very cozy, but it was not my cup of tea that time. On other courses, as an old student given a room early and for the duration, I’ve had various experiences with the pagoda. But overall I prefer the hall or my room. Or a tree.
Breakfast was a dream. I just kept waiting for the crash-down.
I was doing the calculations in my head and knew I’d been awake for more than a day. I expected that sweaty and dizzy feeling I usually get from lack of sleep. It didn’t come, but I also didn’t feel high anymore either. I was going to crash. Or it seemed inevitable. but I didn’t care. I was floaty enough until lunch.
I think it was the food. I didn’t eat much at breakfast, but lunch on that day I remember a large portion. And a clean plate. I had been living on a handful of food for each meal, but this one I just went for it for some reason. That brought me back to earth. Without a crash, just sort of a soft thud. Like throwing a paperback on a made bed.
Meditation was painful and there were no cinnamon rolls. I remember feeling bummed out and knowing that I had to let it go. I was antsy as hell again to leave because I was like, hey, that’s pretty damn good for my first go round, and I don’t want to have intense back pain for a couple more days. It seemed a lot like Day 6, but I accepted it.
I thought the chances of cinnamon rolls again were pretty slim. Mostly because the very strong desire for cinnamon rolls would all but keep them at bay.