Recent Entries


February 27, 2005

Me, Stop Talking? (And Reading, and Writing?)

I'm currently in the town of Phunpin, near the eastern coast of the Thai peninsula. To get here from Ko Jum, the island where I spent the past few days, took six hours and required taking a motorbike down the beach, and then a long-tail boat, a ferry, a car, a minivan bus, a songthaew (shared pick-up taxi), and a city bus!

Tomorrow morning, I'll take another songthaew to Suan Mokkh, a Buddhist meditation center where I'll spend the next 10 days in silence, meditating, practicing yoga, and learning more about the practice of meditation.

I was originally intrigued by this kind of retreat, often called Vipassana, after hearing that you aren't allowed to talk. Now that, I thought, would be an interesting challenge for me. It wasn't until much later, after talking to a few people who've been to Suan Mokkh, that I learned you aren't supposed to read or write, either--yet an additional challenge! Of course, there are many other challenges as well, like getting up at 4 am and not eating after noon and sitting in meditation for hours trying to get my mind to be clear of all thoughts.

One person I met said that her time at Suan Mokkh was really miserable, but she'd still do it again. This intrigued me more, rather than turning me off, amazingly! I've since read an interesting book called The Art of Living, based on the teachings of the guy who started Vipassana retreats in India, and I am eager to have a concentrated, strictly regulated period of time in which to put some of those ideas into practice. I've been looking forward to this for months and I'm really excited and nervous to see how it goes. So, I'll be out of touch for a while. Another challenge--no Internet for at least 11 days!

Posted by Amy on February 27, 2005 02:00 AM
Category: Thailand

good luck! cary and i just did a short course on buddhism and meditation. mditating is hard!! but doing this course definitely made us interested in trying the vipassana too!

Posted by: vlad on February 27, 2005 03:07 AM

can't wait to hear how this went! Ah, enlightenment feels pretty far away in the workaday world of SF. Its rainy. Blah.

Posted by: missmobtown on March 3, 2005 06:05 PM

Wow, that sounds like an interesting time. I think I can understand how it would be both miserable and rewarding. Probably something everybody would benefit from trying once. Looking forward to hearing how it goes. Good luck keeping quiet! :)

Posted by: Fred on March 5, 2005 10:40 AM

I made it! I'll be experiencing and uncovering the effects and results of this retreat for days, months, years to come. Not even sure where to begin describing it--still processing it all!

Posted by: amy on March 12, 2005 01:41 AM
Email this page
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Designed & Hosted by the BootsnAll Travel Network