Around two years ago I traveled to India for a month. I signed up for a Vinyasa Retreat in Kerela with Shiva Rea and a Vipassana Meditation course in Igatpuri, two hours outside of Mumbai. A few days ago, I came across the journal I took to India, tucked away in the trunk of my car. I opened the journal and read, for the first time, the notes I took while at the meditation center. I laughed so hard I became inspired to write my first blog entry, ever. This entry is not meant to offend anyone, in ANY way. I am not trying to downplay meditation or, make fun of the beautiful ashram where I stayed. I merely want to share my humanity with you. Yoga teachers are human, and not all of us are enlightened. I have crazy thoughts like everyone else. xo Jenn
I’d like to preface this entry by stating the following (1) this course was my first meditation experience EVER (2) it was a silent 2 week course…meaning I wasn’t allowed to talk for 2 weeks…..to anyone (3) the course involved fasting ( no food , just tea ) from noon until the next morning (4) did I mention this was my first meditation experience EVER?
Here are the excerpts I thought were the most real/hilarious from my journal:
Igatpuri, India: 10 Day Silent Vipassana Meditation Course
Day 4/ 10 am : I finally have a pen. My luggage arrived today. I’ve worn the same underwear for 4 days. I’ve washed it every night in the sink with a bar of soap I brought in my bag…..just in case my luggage was lost and I had to wash my underwear in a sink.
Day 4 / 4pm : Today we meditated on our upper lip, trying to be aware of the sensations. All I became aware of was the fact I need a wax.
Day 5 / 8 am : Can someone please explain to me why I am SO BLOATED even though I fast from noon till dawn? Oh yeah, I am on a vegetarian diet. I’m filled with water.
Day 5 / 2pm : Trying to meditate in my room. Trying to be aware of the sensations of my body. All this awareness makes me have to use the restroom.
Day 5 / 2:05 pm : Awkward Pose comes in handy when you don’t want to sit on a toilet.
Day 6 / 7am : I understand that it’s proper to let the older Indian women cut in front of you in line for food. They are elderly, they are frail, they deserve respect. However, when they can SHOVE you out of the way, with considerable force, and shoot you a DIRTY look for no apparent reason except for the fact that you are in their way, maybe they have enough strength to wait in line?
Day 6/ 3pm : I’ve finally gotten bored of sleeping. Showering is still exciting.
Day 6 / 8pm : There are signs all around the ashram that read “VIA”. I’m craving Starbucks.
Day 7 / 8 am : Today I was bored enough to walk around the only “designated walking circle” at the ashram. As I made my way around the circle I reflected on the fact that the walk felt very short. The next time around I decided to time it. 60 seconds. Seriously? Since I had nothing better to do I kept on walking. Made me miss my pet hamster.
Day 7 / 12pm : I am tired of vegetable mush for lunch. I am waiting for a stem to grow out of my butt.
Day 7 / 2:30pm : Note to myself as a traveler, listen to your mother when she says “bring lotion”. Also, bring zit cream.
Day 7 / 4:00pm : I want meat.
Day 7 / 6:00pm : Today I saved a 15 pound rat from drowning in the pond. Although rats aren’t my favorite, especially ones as big as chihuahuas, I figured all my time here meditating would be pointless if I let a living creature die in front of me.
Day 8 / 4:30am : Note to self: You think a 6am Bikram class is rough. Meditation at 4:30am is WAY WORSE.
Day 8 / 10:00pm : There is a night creature living outside my bedroom window. Maybe the rat is back.
Day 9 / 6:00am : I can’t believe I am going to write this but, I look forward to cauliflower in the morning.
Day 9 / 11:30am : Everyone mixes their food together here….which I have always found revolting…..as I put my leftover rice into my pea soup.
Day 9 / 4:30pm : Someone threw up in the meditation cell next to me. Awesome.
Day 9 / 8:00pm : Tomorrow afternoon we are done with the course. After 10 days I may have meditated for a full 5 minutes without getting distracted. I am also pretty sure I’ve lost, at least, 10 pounds. Even though there are no mirrors here, I’ve definately noticed my shadow growing smaller and smaller.
Day 10 / 6:00am : This morning I was FINALLY allowed to speak. But since I accidentally used my mosquito repellent as toothpaste, I stayed quiet.