Well, I am back from BKK. The meditation course was held at a Meditation center…where exactly? I have no idea…some place in Bangkok but not in a Wat; I was told Phra Me is a pioneer of this type of center. He is the head meditator teacher.
It was very very very hot during the week. There was ACon in the meditation hall and in the dormitory (only at night). The schedule was very similar to the first one except this one had no dinner time. We only had some snacks or fruit at night.
We woke up at 4am and went to bed around 9 or 9:30pm. I practiced just like the first time only this time around was harder and seemed very long. The meditation hall had no carpet nor wooden flooring like Ban Hai’s place so walking was terribly hard for me. I arranged some of the sitting mats and made a ‘walking path’ which gave my brain some rest. However, with CIPN, balance is a big issue. The brain registers everything in an distorted way so I used my cane to balance and be able to concentrate in the walking; as the days went by and new ‘acknowledging’ words wer added to each step, I needed 2 canes to balance. Other people also needed canes for the slower walking because balancing while walking so slowly can be very difficult so canes are always available in the meditation hall. I also had to alternate “barefoot walking” with “shoes-on walking”- since I was not allowed to wear shoes inside I practiced right outside for this one.
Walking meditation was particularly difficult for my neuropathic feet; you see, when walking we have to ‘name’ each action, and/or any other activity that arises…something like….left foot-pause-move-pause-place-pause-right foot-pause-move…..etc. While doing this if you become aware of a noise you name it: hearing-pause…and continue…if caught up in thought…you name it: thinking-pause…and continue….if pain arises you name it: pain-pause…and continue….well, this latter one was the tough one…naming: pain-pause…for someone with CIPN every step you take would have meant naming: pain-pause, pain-pause, pain-pause…so, I decided to focus on the main activity and have the pain as a background noise…whenever that background noise became noticeable I would name it: super pain-pause….hahaha…this brought a smile to my face every single time. I go every day with that background noise…I consider it a friend, sometimes an annoying friend..but I love my friend just the way ‘it‘ is, grounding, annoying, tiring, funny….
Lots of things to do, so I will tell you more stories about the retreat next time. Namaste! _/\_