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Anyway, I can’t WAIT to blog about my 3-week roadtrip and my Canadian plane crash adventure — both are GREAT stories! …gotta go make some new videos 😀 There I sat, glumly gobbling glop in a silent mess hall full of equally glum glop-gobblers, a knit watchman’s cap pulled down over my makeup-less face and nothing to look forward to but my daily walk in the yard.
Re-reading the fine print on my lemon-ginger herbal tea bag for the 1,000th time, it occurred to me that there’s a fine line between glum and pious…and that though we were all here voluntarily, this meditation retreat was basically just a minimum-security New Age Prison for White People. Of course, I’m being facetious — my fellow glop-gobblers weren’t white; there were a few east Indians among us, an Asian or two, and at least one Mexican.
I also had to ask for an alarm clock at one point…but all in all, I probably spoke fewer than 50 words all week, and those in a hushed whisper.
And I didn’t chant “Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu” at the end of the meditation sessions like many of the other students; supposedly it just means “Well said” in the ancient Buddhist language of Pali…but like those Chinese characters people get tattooed on their persons supposedly meaning “TRUTH,” how do I know it doesn’t really mean “I’m a white dumbass and my privilege is choking me?!
” With all when Noble Silence finally descended like a cozy, knitted fair-trade ethnic pair of earmuffs; I pulled my cap even lower, and prepared to enjoy the silence.
Prior to my departure from Vegas, many of my friends had commented “LOL how are I am actually by nature kind of an introvert — growing up (and in fact until I started drinking alcohol at the age of 23) I was bookish and almost painfully shy, so in a weird way it was kind of a treat to be able to regress for awhile.
This genre of video is called “urbex,” short for “urban exploration,” and I had never heard of it until I uploaded that video at the abandoned mineral resort up near Jackpot, NV last July.And I was really good at it; though I heard other hens nattering in hushed tones throughout the course, I maintained for the entire ten days.(I was forced to whisper responses when the meditation teacher asked about my progress every few days, but I kept my answers to an absolute minimum: “It’s fine,” “I’m feeling tingling,” etc.My sister had taken a course before, so I had an idea of what I was in for and wasn’t fostering any unrealistic expectations — but I did go in with a positive mindset, thinking to give Vipassana a fair shot.
I loaded up on cozy knitted ethnic ponchos, jammed a fair-trade kombucha-hemp suppository up my ass and carpooled the 10 hours from Vegas in the Mini Cooper of an NPR journalist friend who was taking the course for his second time.
But they really, strongly encourage you not to leave until the entire course is complete…and to that end, it’s a bit like being in prison — or more aptly, pri-Zen.