It's been a while since I've come back to Lawrence; not a whole lot going on other than job-hunting and carousing, so I haven't updated the blog.
It's sometimes hard to believe I ever went on a 3000-mile bike trip, but I have a memory now and again that helps bring it back. And I feel different, about myself, about my life, and I know that came from the many experiences I had on my trip. One thing has been bugging me, and maybe others who followed this blog: I never gave an account of my experience at the retreat near the end of my trip.
Believe me, I have wanted to. During the retreat itself I was constantly thinking of how I would write about what happened from moment to moment; because reading and writing were discouraged at the retreat, I wasn't able to keep a diary. This was a good thing because it forced me to focus and stay in tune with what was going on during the retreat, but now I have only my very unruly memory to follow. After the retreat, I was busy working through how the hell I was going to keep my trip going and, finally, how I was going to head home. I worked on a first installment here and there, but it was too big a task to handle in bits and pieces.
Now I've got nothing to do all day! Other than a so far fruitless search for a job, I pretty much read about programming and mathematics, occasionally getting out for a run or some beer with friends. This "project" of writing about the retreat has been in the back of my head all the time, but I haven't been disciplined enough to sit down and do it. But I'm going to give it a try. I feel that my experience with vipassana has been the best thing to happen to me in a very long time, and if nothing else, I want to remind myself of its many facets and maybe interest others in it. I am not a religious Buddhist and I am not trying to proselytize anyone: this is about meditation, and though some of the explanations I may give are definitely rooted in Buddhist philosophy, I don't think that my story will offend any religious or non-religious readers. Hopefully you'll enjoy it, though I can't guarantee that.