Day 5 – Meditation Retreat

⦿ Approximately 120 virtually motionless people together in a room so silent for a glorious hour that were a pin to drop, it could be heard, but not be disruptive to your process. You are so focused in the abidance of internal silence. You are not distracted and consumed by the noise of your thoughts. You are alert. The air is crystal clear.

It is transcendent. It is different than just meditating alone in a silent empty room—there is a certain texture and strength or frequency to the silence.

⦿ Underneath the gross is the subtle. Underneath that, subtler still, under that… The mind becomes more sensitive to the subtle, but in its usual operation it is not sufficiently sensitized or itself subtle. That casts 80.10 into a whole new light. And speaking of…

I am caffeinated this morning. While it seems to have its short-term benefits in creating alertness, or a somewhat artificially induced version thereof, it is also akin to driving a high-speed car through the countryside. You miss and thus cannot enjoy the subtle: the leaf falling, the butterfly traveling, the faint bird song or the shimmer of light through the tree branches.

 ⦿ What a strange and silent intimacy. Hardly any awkwardness and little stress when you don’t have to form words for others. You are there, together, in beingness, each trying not to be preoccupied with their own thoughts. I kinda love these guys. So peaceful. Human beings could probably solve many problems and learn to live together in resounding harmony if they just STFU more often.

⦿ Wish that we had gotten that second plane ticket to get Trish to Yosemite National Park, where I am headed to integrate this experience before returning to the hubbub of life.

⦿ Today not a linear progression from the heights of last night. Feeling some numbness return. I wonder if it is not “numb,” per se, but the mind is just insufficiently sensitive, operating at a level too gross to sense the subtle.

⦿ One co-meditator was sweeping our dorm with a broom today. Nice.


⦿ Two core truths:

  1. I create misery
  2. I don’t know how to stop

Buddhism says that freedom from clinging, craving, aversion, and attachment is the way.

⦿ This practice of equanimity can be likened to a doctor diagnosing a patient. “Does it hurt here? What about here?” The doctor doesn’t make a drama or personal story about the pain. She examines it with detachment, as phenomena.

⦿ *No caffeine tomorrow.* Five days remain. I must try.

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