I wake up to a tumble-down dong. As if somebody is hammering a broken trunk. It is three in the morning, birds begin to sing, still hesitant and shy. I can not catch my rest. “Did I sleep in the last 4 hours?” I ask myself unsure and blurred. I move and my bones rub on the bed without mattress. The warmth is not unbearable but the room’s smell seems to accentuate it. I slowly move, “the first session is in an hour” my mind reminds me. I wash my face carefully without ingesting any water drop and I wash my teeth using the bottle that was resting in front of the mirror on the shelf. I observe my reflection looking up because the mirror is sloping towards me. I greet my image. I dress, I try to tie the longyi (a cylindrical piece of fabric that is used as clothe) three or four-time. I am getting used to it. “Sometimes I lace it at the first try” I remind myself.
I listen to the crows, perhaps they are guessing what is for breakfast. Some dogs growl distant. I wear the white shirt mandatory for the meditation hours. I button up the shining and polished buttons one at the time. Slowly I walk toward the meditation room, forgetting to fill up my water bottle from the distributor. I meet some monks that one step at time, slowly, get closer to next step. I sit at my place after going through the heavy glass doors. One hour of seated meditation alternate with one walking meditation all day, apart from the “special” moments.
Among these there is breakfast and lunch that happen respectively at 5 and 10 in the morning. All of us in line, waiting for the signal, in silence. I look in front of me, listening to my breaths. Once in a while I observe somebody or something that catch my attention. In a row we enter the dining hall, sometime passing between wedding guests or a married couple that offered the food. I kneel down to greet the Buddha that looks over us from a corner of the room. The delicious vegetarian food is sparse on the solid wood table. During lunch ice cream is served, maybe to sweeten up the time after midday when we are not allowed to have any food.
Three moment during the day are dedicated to bathing. These are precious moments where I can relax, write and practice yoga. The day ends at 11, but I am able to go to sleep at about nine thirty, ten with a little cheat.
At three the elderly monk presents the instructions for the following sessions alternate to interviews where we ask questions and share our experiences. The level that the mind and the body are understood is unimaginable, and during these moments of sharing the body let go more information that the words do. Questions are similar. There is who want to fight the pain, who is looking for the confirmation about the personal experience. Le answers are similar. Follow the instructions. Everything else: experiences, sensations, illusions… arise and disappear, as anything else.