Meditation Boot Camp: Part 4

Saturday 26th January 2008

Day Ten

Meditation Goal: To feel the tiny sensations and vibrations all over the body simultaneously and fill them with love and compassion, and send those vibrations out into the room. (Metta method)

Today after the morning sessions we were allowed to speak again. I was actually quite nervous about it, because I had a suspicion that everyone would be saying “Oh wasn’t it wonderful! Don’t you feel amazing?” etc. I did not feel wonderful or amazing, and mostly hated the experience overall, but didn’t want to be the only one saying it. Continue reading

Meditation Boot Camp: Part 3

Saturday 26th January 2008

Day Six

Meditation goal: To feel the subtle sensations throughout the body and maintain objectivity and perfect equanimity towards those sensations.

This morning I woke up feeling a bit better. My legs and back were much better, except for some pain in my left knee, and I decided to take a whole new approach.
The guru is always saying in between chanting, that we must recognise the reality of this moment, and experience the reality that is, not the reality as we would like it to be, and remain equanimous without reacting to things. Continue reading

Meditation Boot Camp: Part 2

Saturday 26th January 2008

Day Two

Meditation goal: To observe respiration and try to feel the touch of breath in my nostrils.(Annapanna method)

My concentration was a little better today, still a pretty hardcore running commentary (can’t seem to switch that off), but was able to concentrate for slightly longer periods today without getting distracted.
My legs were really sore today, after the 11 hours of sitting on the floor yesterday! Oh well, more sitting to come!
During the 2-hour session from 9-11am we were allowed to sit in our room today. Continue reading

Meditation Boot Camp: Part 1

Saturday 26th January 2008

Ok, obviously I have been almost completely silent for 11 days, so these emails will be very long and detailed. You have been warned, so no complaining! I intend to outline pretty much every day blow-by-blow, so feel free to take your time reading these – there will be many parts!

I registered at the centre in Kathmandu at 11am on Monday, 14th Jan, and after a 5 hour wait was on the bus to Dhammashringa, the meditation center in the hills north of Kathmandu, just below the Shivapuri national park and forest. During my wait I met a lovely Sri Lankan girl called D, so we had a great chat and it was nice to have a friend, even if I wasn’t allowed to communicate with her most of the time!
We arrived at the centre, and I was actually really excited about the course. I was a little surprised to see that most of the center was under construction, but figured I should wait and see how it goes.
Our introductory lecture was mostly about ensuring we are willing to follow all the rules carefully and strictly, and were willing to stay the full ten days no matter how hard we found it – I resolved to give it a fair trial and stay no matter what. Continue reading

Oh my god! A short email from Maya!

Sunday 13th January 2008
Hey everyone,
Thanks for all the lovely support,
I’m feeling a bit better and am much more excited about going tomorrow now. (packing to go anywhere always makes me feel better).
Plus I think it’ll be a really good experience once I get there, and I’m excited about the challenge.
It turns out I was wrong about the power-cuts, it’s actually 36 hours a week (It’s off for 6 hours every day except Saturdays), and in February it’ll be off for 11 hours a day.
Hopefully though, by February it’ll be a bit warmer and lighter in the mornings (we’re out of gas again indefinitely – there’s still a massive shortage thanks to the Indian government, so Martin and I have to get up at 5am instead of 6 to start cooking, as it takes about 3 and a half hours to cook everything on the little kerosene burner).
I’ve also discovered, standing over a kerosene stove, that the fumes make your eyes sting like nothing else – way worse than onions!
However, on a positive note I’ve been enjoying the fact that in the last 5 months I’ve barely noticed that we don’t have a fridge, and I like that we buy our veggies and stuff fresh every day, and use everything – there’s literally no waste at all.
I honestly think I could quite enjoy living without a fridge back home – once I have one, I’m always compelled to fill it with unhealthy crap, most of which I end up throwing out when it goes off instead of actually eating it.
Also, although the constant power cuts are a bit irritating, I have noticed that by lighting 3 or 4 candles, I can raise the temperature in my room by a few degrees, which is a nice bonus!
So, I’m off tomorrow, and won’t be online again until about the 25th/26th of Jan, so I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.
Oh – and things are looking up with HGG – he’s buggered off to Lumbini to see the birthplace of Buddha, but wants to meet up when I get back to hear all about the course (apparently he’s keen to do the meditation course too).
So – I’ll keep you updated on that one.
take care – and wish me luck!
tons of love
Super-Silent Maya

Everybody has their Everest…

 Tuesday 9th October 2007
Things are settling down a lot more now, which is nice.
We’ve all settled into a routine, and those of you who know me well would be in awe of my new cooking skills!
I can now whip up dhaal bhaat with achaar and tarkari for 30 children without batting an eyelid!
Also, my cooking triumphs have allowed Aamaa and Sabina to get on with other tasks in the mornings, like cleaning and washing clothes and children, so I have been officially accepted as the new morning cook, and to make up for it, am not allowed to do my laundry (this morning Aamaa took my washing and then pointed me towards the kitchen to go and cook the rice!). I’m rather relieved, as it’s exhausting scrubbing it all by hand several times, and the kids can get my clothes much cleaner than I can! (Realising the horror of what I just said even as I wrote that – child labour is just SO much more efficient….)

Continue reading