Sixth Day – Rest

by Anna


Today was Mindfulness Day at Plum Village, where once again all the hamlets got together. My back had significantly improved since the Thai Massage and this morning I was able to sit much more comfortably during meditation. I did working meditation as allocated in the toilet block under the watchful presence of that lump in my throat. Why? What is it about cleaning that makes me feel so annoyed and upset? Is it too downgrading, does it make me feel a failure? It can’t be that bad, I used to be a cleaner myself!

After the optimistically painless start into the day I only made it half-way through the Dharma Talk DVD. I felt so tired, woozy, sick and had this panicky feeling of walls closing in. So, after a little while of fidgeting and fighting off sleep, I left, the walk of shame through the big hall filled with a crowd of monastic and lay people, and went to bed, breathing heavily.

I spent most of the day resting in bed, away from the many people that had come to visit, skipped Dharma sharing and the second lot of working meditation, but had a good talk with my room mate instead, who once again felt similar. It’s incredible how similar we are indeed. It somehow feels good, not to be alone with these awful feelings.

I felt I could go a little deeper during walking meditation later in the day. But overall I just want to go home now. This whole group commitment thing was getting too much. But I also realized once and for all that I could not live as a nun as I had previously thought I might one day, but really admire those who do and am grateful that they offer us the opportunity to find ourselves and to practice with them.

Lazy evening meant we had a lot of time to talk. Us three room mates sat under the willow by the frog pond with another girl and her boyfriend form the other hamlet. We laughed and spoke about things that mattered to us and the world. No preference, just like-minded people. Later in our room we kept on talking until nearly midnight. And there it was again – that feeling from childhood – the uncomplicated and fun pyjama parties, staying over at a friend’s house with no worries…other than knowing that tomorrow it will be all over again already.

A couple of days ago one of my room mates was talking about leaving Facebook, for all the same reasons that I have always wanted to leave. After my initial disappointment that I won’t be able to keep in touch with her in that easy non-committal way that Facebook offers, I decided it was time for me to leave too. And it felt so good! I actually look forward to going home and clicking the leaving button 🙂