Saturday, April 14, 2007


We're now staying at a funny little monastery on the outskirts of McLeod Gange. It's nice because the city noise is barely audible, but a family of dogs lives just outside our door charged with the task of warding off other dogs by barking all night long. I managed to sleep though, after spending a few hours listening to music. It's funny, I've only listened to music a few times in India, but after the retreat I just wanted to cut loose, so I had a dance party in my sleeping bag. I can't believe there's only twelve days left to our trip. I'm glad in a way that it ended with India because it's bittersweet. Had we ended with Japan it would have been just bitter.

The retreat itself was wonderful. I went hoping to learn more about Buddhism, which I did, but I learned even more about myself. It was much less silent than I thought it would be, with daily discussions and teachings, but they really helped me understand more of the philosophy. The meditations, which were three times a day for forty-five minutes, we're good but hard. We westerners are not used to sitting cross legged for so long, which is unfortunate because the posture is really much better for you than chairs. Everyone should eat on the floor! What I'm trying to say is that meditation is painful, and it's hard to stay focused for forty-five minutes. I kept losing it in the last five to ten minutes. It was well worth it though; nice to get a good foundation for my own practice. It was also nice to get to know some people from all over the world. After being so removed from people who speak English it was nice to chat a bit. So if you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism and find yourself in India check out The Tushita Meditation Center in McLeod Gange.