Vipassana Meditation Course: Part 2

Day 1: Sleep

After the first night’s hysterics, I have given myself permission to sleep through the morning meditation, rising at the late hour of 6:30AM.

Actually, I sleep through everything I can sleep through on the first day.

After breakfast I collapse back in bed until 8:00AM.

I sleep through the 9:00AM individual meditation time, waking just long enough to grab lunch before my afternoon nap.

I take another nap at 5:00PM and am soundly asleep well before lights out at 10:00PM.

Some people may say that I am wasting an opportunity here, but I don’t regret it at all.

I need to rest.


Day 2: Outside

The course is held at a communist-era hotel in the mountains near the border of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In its heyday, this hotel must have been grand. Now it is tired. The plumbing doesn’t work. The carpets and fixtures are dated. Water stains grace the ceilings and walls. A sense of agedness permeates the whole place, including the meditators.

The atmosphere is that of a convalescent home for young women. Women in their twenties shuffle around in house slippers, eyes downcast, blankets wrapped around their shoulders. This mood doesn’t suit me today. I am feeling reinvigorated after my day of rest. So I decide to go outside.

The mountains surrounding the hotel are beautiful, and I was excited to explore the many trails in the area. That is not to be.

As it turns out, we are only allowed outside of the hotel during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Beyond that, the outdoor area we are allotted is very restricted. We are confined to what is essentially a parking lot, a small lawn, and half of a meadow.

Still, I think, it’s better than nothing.

I step out into the afternoon sun and stifle a laugh. The area looks like an oddly gender-specific apocalypse scene. Women are lying, as if dead, in odd positions all over the parking lot and limited grassy areas. Those who aren’t lying down are shuffling slowly in circles or stopped staring into the distance.

I take a few laps around the meadow.

It is better than nothing.


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