Fifth Day – Endurance

by Anna


I share a lot of similarities with one of my room mates. We both consider ourselves highly sensitive (read about The Extrovert Detox) and always aim for the same sitting cushion. Just like me she often feels like running away, not linking rules and even today felt the same irritation as me during meditation. We are both aware how easily we can pick up other’s emotions and mistake them for our own.

The “Mutant Message Down Under” revealed a few more insights to me. “There should be no suffering by any creature except what they accept for themselves. Each soul on the highest level of our being could select to be born into an imperfect body; they often came to teach and influence the lives they touched. All diseases and disorders have some spiritual connection and serve as stepping stones if we would only open up and listen to our bodies to learn what is taking place.”

“You cannot hear the voice of Oneness when you are busy talking. Clear your mind and thoughts and wait to receive.”

I wondered whether I should have just stayed at home with this book of wisdoms instead of travelling all this way to find peace at Plum Village in  France but realised immediately that you only learn by practicing, not merely by reading about it in a book.

After the alarm of one of our room mates had gone on and on and on this morning while she blissfully carried on sleeping, and not to mention the seemingly endless sitting mediation, we now returned giggling joyfully from a deep relaxation session which somehow resembled more a Chinese karaoke session. The singing just wouldn’t stop. Irritation arose and found release in laughter with each other. But the best was that the girl who slept through her alarm also managed to sleep through the relaxation! Unbelievable! 🙂

And it was only 10am… What else would we have to endure today? I can generally be quite impatient and when I feel I need to go I will just go. Sitting through mental and physical pain and discomfort is challenging but it also tests your endurance.

Me and one of my room mates skipped working meditation. Just gave in to the feeling of disinterest and irritation. I don’t know yet what it means in the long run but it did make me feel guilty, neglecting the community. I almost feel like I lost interest. I don’t know if this is part of my current issue with anxiety and depression or the medication adjustment phase, or even just plain disinterest itself. Maybe I’ve stressed myself that much that I really can’t find my quite core again?

My reluctance to carry on participating here might actually make it easier to re-integrate back into real life again after. Maybe that is also an indication that I’m ready to tackle real life again instead of hiding from it. I also haven’t taken a single photo yet since arriving at Plum Village. It made the flow easier I suppose. Anyway I have everything documented already from my last stay three years ago.

I had a deep moment during walking meditation where we stood by a still water and I momentarily got lost in the mirroring depth of lush spring green trees and leaves on the water’s surface as fellow participants appear one after the other like shy deer.

Me and my room mates finally agree to wake up without the extra alarm, promising we would wake each other up if the bell didn’t.