I woke up nervous about today is the day we would all finally get to speak to each other. I woke up at 4 AM and ate a few bites at breakfast. Morning meditation was good and then we spent a second hour learning the art of Metta meditation. This is something you practice for about five or so minutes after meditation. It’s compassionate meditation since you send love, guidance, and compassion to all living beings. I absolutely love it.

Ok, so we are done… now what? I nervously walk straight to my room and frantically slam the door shut. I can talk now, but what can I say? One of my hallmates walks in and asks if I want to go on a walk, and gives me Cucaracha, a tree pod that makes the same noise. I shake it as we walk. We discuss our crazy experience, she tells me she’s named the rocks on the trail after her friends. We were met by an old student who is doing this for a second time with her husband. We walk to the hall together and meet another old student, a Thai woman, who I doing this for the 10th time. Wow! We talk with her for a while and head into the dining all, which has been transformed into a library. So overwhelming. Everyone is verbally embracing each other, some physically hugging. One of the Indian ladies tells me we knew each other in a past life, and invites me to say in her home in Arizona, whenever. It’s so sweet. The mother-daughter duo chats with me, and the daughter calls me an angel and said she gave me strength throughout the retreat. Wow.

A German girl from my dorm approaches me and tell me she has been watching me. I think we have all been watching each other. Another girl asked if I was from Hollywood, and said I gave out that vibe. As I try to run back to my room to grab my cards and money to donate, I am approached by more people. So intense. I am late for lunch, but I catch up with everyone and discuss the experience and who they are. My favorite hallmate said she didn’t know if the face mask was for her which is why she didn’t use it. But she will now haha. My other hallmate thanked me again for the face mask. She said she was dreaming of a Korean spa that same day when she surprisingly received the mask (manifestation!). I make my donation and ask if I can also donate myfancy schmancy meditation chair,to help someone else survive this. They agree.

The manager then approaches me and asks if I had forgotten that I signed up to meet with the teacher. I accidentally pat her and apologize. She reminds me we can’t touch, is not such a nice way. I realize I also have a migraine. This is sensory overload! I apologize to the teacher, and she said it happens. I explain the array of emotions I am feeling, which is normal. She reminds me to find balance and equanimity in it all. After afternoon meditation, where we still can’t talk in the hall, we head to the dining room to discuss rides, cleaning and the time change, which is happening the next day. We are shown a Goenka video on stressing the importance in doing our time with future volunteer service. The time change discussion goes on forever, but we finally come to a consensus that we won’t change our clocks, we will wake up at 5:30 AM which will really be 4:30 AM. An extra hour, kind of! For dinner, we get leftovers. Yaaasss. I ask this gal form Siberia (first Siberian I’ve ever met/the same gal that doesn’t sit on anything but her bottom) where she got her amazing floral embroidered scarf, and she responds, from India. Guess I need to go to India…

I chat it up with an amazing artist who is interested in completing the Camino, another woman I was originally going to carpool with, and others. My migraine is worse… Too much energy. The evening meditation wasn’t bad, but I feel exhausted. The discourse is an overview of everything, and we don’t have a second meditation. We get back and I shower and pack and talk for hours with my dormmates. One of which who had never meditated prior to this! Tomorrow is just two hours of chanting with Goenka. The now-waning moon is a celebration for the end of the course.

Vipassana Day 11: She speaks! (a 12-day Journal of my Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat Experience)

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