Down the rabbit hole

I’m heading out on another 10-day Vipassana meditation (S.N. Goenka, for those of you into Vipassana). I leave today, and soon I’ll be completely offline. (We all literally check our cell phones at the door, and we don’t see them again for ten days.)

You’ll still see some blog posts show up, however, because I’ve done some writing in advance and scheduled a few posts ahead of time, a few simple reflections on meditation and retreats and whatnot.

It’s possible that you’re reading this, and a 10-day retreat sounds quite impressive. I’m more than happy to take any and all of your compliments and admiration, but in truth I’m only able to do a 10 days because I’ve been meditating for a very long time. When I first began meditating, I wasn’t a natural. 

Some folks are. Some people try meditation and take to it like a fish to water. That wasn’t me. The first time I sat, I didn’t experience a great surge of power, or a drop into a deep state of concentration, nor did I experience some profound connection with God or the universe.

There was nothing profound at all. The only thing that happened was that my mind raced, quickly picking up speed and then careening out of control around the mental universe, bouncing around into all kinds of random thoughts and memories, but never sticking long on any one of them. My thought pattern was a little like dropping a rubber ball down into the Grand Canyon, and after five minutes, I couldn’t stand it any longer.

Still, I knew that the practice held something for me. That’s kind of how it goes with meditation. You just kind of have a sense that it’s what you need, and you do it. And so I’ve kept at it, and my daily sit is now around an hour. Persistence, man. It’s kind of a major theme of meditation.

So off I go, into the foothills of the Sierra’s for another retreat. Down the rabbit hole. I appreciate your prayers and good energy.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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