Four days ago, I had never meditated for a minute in my life. To be honest, I thought meditation was just a fancy word for sitting and thinking. Didn't I do enough of that already? In the past six months I've spent so much time on buses, trains and planes sitting alone and thinking that I probably could have written an Academy Award-worthy screenplay. Too bad I spent most of my thinking time pondering things like how to catch a baby koala and what life would be like if I had Cheetos for toes, instead of putting my mental effort towards a productive cause. 

The fact of the matter is that I wanted to meet a monk. So I put my college degree-worthy research skills to use and started googling. Where do monks hang out? The temple. What do monks do? Meditate. Do monks talk to women? Rarely. Would a monk talk to me if I meditated? Maybe.Thus, I vowed to enter the world of meditation in hopes of meeting a somewhat westernized monk who might be willing to tell me a little bit about monk life and Buddhism. 

Return to google: meditation retreat in Thailand with monks. Hmmm, all that seemed to pop up were ten day silent meditation retreats. Eight to ten hours a day of sitting on a hard floor, no eating past noon, no talking, daily chores, no eye contact, no running water, ten days. *gasp* 

Returning to my habit of brainless decision making, I thought, "I could do that. Even though I've never meditated a day in my life and really believe its only for yogis, psychics and earth muffins (and I don't consider myself any of the above), it will be a good personal challenge and educational experience." 

I had myself half convinced and was contemplating whether I should email the temple to register. I soon realized that there was a logistical issue with the dates of the retreat and the length of my Thai visa, so I wouldn't be able to attend. After a few more clicks on google, I found a fellow travel blog commenting on a four day meditation retreat she had attended in the north of Thailand. Perfect! I was headed north, the dates fit well with my visa and it seemed a little more realistic than ten days of silence. 

Little did I know at the time, I would look back on the experience eternally grateful for my visa stars and ten day retreat stars not aligning. I was about to begin the longest four days of my life...the quest to tame what my monk instructor would later call the monkey mind.  
 


Comments


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply