Vipassana and the art of highway driving

This following has almost nothing to do with the art of highway driving or bananas and only a little something to do with Vipassana meditation but join us, won’t you?

NO TALKING OR TOUCHING. NO Soda. No alcohol or tobacco. No music. No exercise permitted either at the leafy Quebec Vipassana Centre in Montebello, Quebec. In such environs, it’s on the more amazing side of amazing to witness the heights and depths to which the mind will wander, amazing too to experience the great discomfort and occasional elation the body feels sitting and meditating for the better part of four days.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are.

Well, a sensation is just a sensation and impermanence is a wondrous thing, isn’t it? Thank you to my good friend Stephen Campbell for introducing me to this world. It’s been some time since I felt this light and peaceful. En route (ONroute) home now. Maybe the International Forest Monastery in Thailand is next. (Do they have baseball in Thailand?)

Side note: Montebello is the catepillar capital of the world (unconfirmed). During forest walks, you hear the pitter patter of caterpillar poo falling to the leaves and ground. Chipmunks and brown squirrels refuse to fear you and they get close to your feet. Larry the laid-back groundhog takes it all in stride, with the whipping sound of 14 French Canadian geese in V-flock formation overhead. I didn’t get a chance to meet the Mother bear and cubs reported in the area, unfortunately (or fortunately). 

Healthy servings of vegetables, lentils, rice and sunshine help sustain us throughout the course, and as an added bonus for me came a side order of French language instruction. We awoke every morning at 4 a.m. I managed to only once distract my fellow meditators by falling into a kind of snoring near-sleep and to only once disturb the teacher with my loud over-breathing.

Good gawd, sweet Buddha and funky Ganesh; it was hard work and, at times, I found it very difficult. But this was the good kind of difficult.

Travaillez avec une ferme détermination et avec compréhension juste! Soyez heureux.

More to come. Gotta get to my baseball game!




About Chris LePan

Writer/ Editor
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