Monday, September 14, 2009

Vipassana Retreat, Installment 9

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2009, 12:20 PM
            I had another educational experience this morning, similar to being “stood up” by Shinzen yesterday. I walked around the neighborhood, treating it as an opportunity to meditate. I did FOCUS OUT, noting SIGHT, SOUND and TOUCH (and TALK when I’d space out). I headed uphill on Lanai, turning on to Aldo, a windy street that climbed rather steeply then descended through the perfectly manicured yards and houses until it dead ended into the main drag, Hayvenhurst. Then I turned and retraced my footsteps, expecting to return to the Center’s front gate. Instead, I found myself at the intersection of Hayvenhurst and (Bilbo?) that the police had cordoned off to keep curiosity seekers away from John Jackson's estate,
            How weird. How could I have missed the Center? Where did I go wrong? I tried to retrace my steps, going back uphill to the corner of Hayvenhurst and Lanai… but I had just BEEN on Lanai, and hadn’t seen the Center. I went back hill to the blocked intersection, wondering if I should ask the Cop stationed there for directions.  I observed myself starting to freak out, just like yesterday morning with the on-line screw up. This time, however, I could bring mindfulness to my predicament. CONCENTRATION, CLARITY, EQUANIMITY!        I focused on F.I.T. space (FEEL/IMAGE/TALK), but had to toggle back and forth between that and FOCUS OUT enough to try and locate the Center. I paced up and down Hayvenhurst between Bilbo and Lanai, getting more and more panicked (while noting the arising bodily sensations and talk). Finally, in desperation, I turned back up Lanai (even though I had just come from there and not seen the center). But, half a block later, there it was! HOORAY! I was flooded with relief (and noted that bodily sensation as well).

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