meditation, difficulty, bliss...
"Eating the food I’d initially disdained ranked up there with above-average sex. I’m not exaggerating by much. When I first got there, I didn’t understand why some people were closing their eyes while eating. By the end of the retreat, I was closing mine. The better to focus on the source of my ecstasy. I wasn’t just living in the moment — I was luxuriating in it," writes Robert Wright in the NYTimes. He continues:
"This Friday I’m heading up to rural Massachusetts in hopes of getting born again — again. Six years ago, in the same locale, I attended my first and only silent meditation retreat. It was just about the most amazing experience of my life...I came away from that week feeling I had found a new kind of happiness, deeper than the kind I’d always pursued."
Wright also compares his retreat experience to being imprisoned. It is difficult, but the rewards can be spectacular. He concludes:
"At the end of my first retreat, still reeling from that Thursday-night experience, I told one of the meditation teachers about it. He nodded casually, as if the insight I’d had was one of the standard stops on the path to enlightenment — but far from the end of the path. Through truly intensive meditation, he said, the transformation of your view of your mind — and your view of your mind’s relationship to reality, and your view of reality itself — can go much deeper than I’d gone."
Someday I hope to have the spiritual fortitude to undertake such a retreat.