Courtesy of EPG International/L. West.
Courtesy of EPG International/L. West.

Mid-afternoon, twenty-four hours into a three-day vipassana retreat, I entered the teacher’s cottage for my interview. Although I had attended many meditation retreats with lay teachers, this was my first interview with an Asian monk. Hesitant, bowing, unsure of etiquette, I walked in, sat on the floor, and waited for him to speak.

He waited for me to speak. Noting awkwardness. “How’s your practice?” he asked finally, quietly, smiling.

“I am experiencing much boredom, sir. The hour-long sits seem to be taking three hours.”

“Yes,” he smiled. “I think perhaps you are not in the present moment. You are wondering always, ‘How soon will this be over?’ Thinking ahead.”

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