Day 1: Full Day of Quiet
My alarm went off at 6am and I snoozed for a bit, managing to pull myself out of bed ten minutes later. It was cool out as I meandered through the grounds. It had rained in the night and things were still damp, the sky still gray and foreboding in the morning light. It would stay that way all day. I decided to stretch in a gazebo with a view over terraced lands with a backdrop of a mountain chain.
Breakfast was a delicious rice-and-milk soup, along with white pita bread and the usual choices of butter, peanut butter and jam. Tea, masala or black or green, is available at every meal as well. After breakfast, I walked for a bit, then did some writing in my diary. At ten, I went to the main “gompa” or meditation hall, because there is supposedly daily hour and a half meditation sessions. When no one but three Western girls showed up, I went to ask at the reception desk. It turns out the teacher who does the meditation classes left today and there won’t be guided meditations for at least a few days. It really bummed me out, but I stayed anyway and attempted to meditate in the huge, quiet hall with a huge golden Buddha at the back and whirls of colors and paintings and flags and lights all around. I think I may have napped for a short time, but in any case, I made it through an hour and a half of quiet sitting.
Lunch consisted of dal baht, white rice, a curried vegetable mixture and a cooked onion mixture, with the pita and toppings selection and tea. Delicious! And very filling. The rest of the day was filled with reading and walking, pondering and writing, half an hour of internet and chatting with the Swedish couple.
No deep insights, perhaps, but it was a calm and restful day. I may not stay as long as expected, with no guided class of any kind to attend, but even two or three days will recharge my batteries… physically and emotionally, hopefully.