25 Days Until Sri Lanka!Posted: March 5, 2012
It’s official! I have bought my plane ticket and I’ll be on my way on the 29th.
I finally have my itinerary. The only change is that I’ll be working at Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage first, and then the second month will be devoted to helping at-risk and disadvantaged youth. I cannot stop thinking about my final week: the one week of silent meditation. Taking a vow of silence has been on my bucket list for a while now, and I can’t think of a better way to experience it.
Here is a typical day at the Vipassana Meditation Retreat:
04:15 Puja (Pay homage)
05:00 Porridge/ gruel called Congee
07:15 – 08:15 Meditation
08:15 Drink of King Coconut
08:30 – 09:30 Attending to cleanliness
09:30 – 11:00 Bathing and washing of clothes
12:30 – 13:30 Meditation
13:30 Drink of tea
14:00 Mediation advice usually by head monk
17:00 – 18:00 Cleaning outside areas
18:00 Puja (Pay homage)
18:30 Evening drink
19:00 – 20:00 Meditation
22.00 Rest – Lights Out
It looks extremely challenging. Particularly the getting up at 4:00 AM and staying up until 10:00 PM, and the no-eating-after-12PM rule. I know meditating will be a strange and new experience, especially doing so much of it. I’ve started reading “Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World” by Ed and Deb Shapiro. While it has been a very insightful read, I don’t know how much it will adequately prepare me for what’s to come…
In addition to the new regimen, I will be following the Ten Precepts:
1. Not to kill any living being.
2. Not to take what is not given.
3. Not to have sexual contact.
4. Not to tell lies; not to indulge in idle talk or gossip (wrong speech).
5. Not to take any drugs or alcohol.
6. Not to eat solid food after 12:30 noon until the next dawn
7. Not to dance, sing, listen to music
8. Not to wear garlands or apply scents, use makeup, cosmetics or jewellery.
9. Not to sleep on high and expensive beds.
10. Not to accept gold and silver (money)
Although the retreat will only last a week, I anticipate that the lessons I learn will last me a lifetime.