Let me apologize up front for such a short weekly post. My classes start in two days and I have meetings tomorrow. I’m teaching 5 classes this semester and although it is less than I normally teach I still have a lot of stuff to get done tonight.
Several days ago I came across a journal that had a very large section devoted to my first experiences with meditation. Reading through it I found an account of my first Dukcham experience. It should be noted that this was a Japanese based Meditation Retreat (I use the word Sensei to refer to the instructor) and I was a teenager.
“Ding…..Ding…..Ding….. Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnn. I can’t believe there is only one person in front of me! How did that happen? Up the stairs. Oh no, I tripped. Get up! Run! She (the person in front of me) goes in to see Sensei first, that means I’m first in line. I hope my breathing slows down before the bell rings.”
“Ding….Ding….Ding…. Ok, now it’s my turn. Ding. Ding. I hope I didn’t hit the bell to hard. Well here goes nothing. Close the door. Walk over in front of Sensei, on the edge of the carpet, and bow. Walk up and kneel. “My name is Sean Pearson. My practice is following my breath?””
“Ding….Ding….Ding….Ding…. Bow and leave. That wasn’t so bad.”
Well that is exactly how it was written in the journal. What I didn’t mention is that I had arrived late to the meditation hall that day. Because I was late, I had to sit a long way away from the door that people participating in Dokcham had to exit (run) through when the bell was rung. There were a half-dozen people between me and that door. I remember the bell ringing and the next thing I remember was being half way up the stairs, climbing over another student trying to get to the top first. I have no idea of how I got to be second in line. I have no memory of traveling from my meditation cushion. It was a truly amazing experience.
I hope that everyone that takes part in Dokcham at the Winter Retreat will have an experience that they will remember 30 years later. So what question will you ask?
Something to think about…..