Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sexy Nomad's Monastic Diaries (Entry # 1): Hogwarts is that you?

To see the prologue or to have a better idea where my Monastic diary entries came from, please head to these links:
2012 International Youth Seminar on Life and Ch'an

*This meditation retreat is an option the participants at the youth seminar can take on the 2nd week. There were 1,500 participants during the one-week 2012 International Youth Seminar on Life and Ch'an in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Only 200 were admitted to the Meditation Retreat  the following week, including me.*


July 28, 2012 Saturday | On my bunk bed | Fo Guang Shan Temple in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

I sometimes feel like I'm in Hogwarts (Kung Fu Panda version) with the long monastic robes all 200 of us are wearing, the huge expanse of land which houses various Buddha temples and contemplation sites, the sound of the birds chirping all day long, the ringing of the bells and gongs every hour or so signalling the time for prayers, chanting meditation and meals. It's Hogwarts alright but without the magic and mystical creatures.

However, unlike Hogwarts, this meditation retreat that I'm attending is boring in nature. There are no classes per se nor seminars unlike last week's international youth seminar. We are not even allowed to speak to each other or to anyone. The monks had us surrender our cellphones, laptops, iPods, iPads and other gadgets. In fact, according to the manual, we are also not allowed to write. Strictly speaking, any form of communication is not allowed during this 5-day retreat! My God! I'm going to die! So I'm hiding here in my bed writing these things down on my little pink notebook before I go crazy in this 5-day  meditation retreat with a vow of silence to boot plus vegetarian meals and manual chores in between which I deposited $100 for. It's going to be refunded back to me if I last the whole week. IF I LAST THE WHOLE WEEK!

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