when you leave the Gompa


I’ve written about being on retreat but did I ever write about leaving the temple?

About how, on about day three a nun walking passed as my feet crunched the red gravel to the back door commented ‘you’ve got the third day glow’.

Imagine from day three to day ten a constant gentle smile. We all had it. We walked slower, talked a lot less. And we all smiled. Contentment. Inner peace. Serenity.

Now picture an airport. A major city airport check in area. Go through security to the shops before the departure gates. The departure lounges. Now see me, floating after ten days of bliss slowly finding a place amongst that madness. Watching. Hearing the sounds but not putting anything together. Just hearing rhubarb. No words, not making sense of sentences. Watching almost as though from behind a blurred screen. Seeing people dashing to and fro and thinking – why? Slow down, what are you doing. Shh. It’s time for afternoon meditation. Shh.




10 thoughts on “when you leave the Gompa

  1. Wow – I had the exact same experience when I did a Vipassana retreat in Nepal! It’s so lovely to be in that floating place, though, isn’t it? Someone even commented on my serene-ness. I think I need to return to that retreat center!

  2. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    I can well imagine it. I’ve never been on a retreat, but I have learned to slow down my life since being forced into early retirement in 2010.

    I think I probably experience some of that ‘retreat glow’ in my everyday routine these days.

    And why DO people talk so much.

    (Years ago, I used to say that the reason I never married was because I never found a man who could be silent……seriously……even my few girlfriends, who I see on a fairly irregular basis keeping talking, instead of enjoying the view/silence/wind/moment etc).

    I sometimes wish that people would learn how to live their lives slower, quieter and be more Mindful during their everyday activities.

    • I hope to live like that in a couple of years Vicki, to experience that routinely would be wonderful 🙂

      Comfortable silence sounds good..there’s a lot of noise in my office so it’s good to get away and quieten down..

  3. I can well imagine that feeling. It’s really a shame you had to go through it on your way home.

  4. What a beautiful feeling! I know this is not related to a retreat, but when I go to the city from the country everyone is always in such a hurry and pushes past me. I think ‘slow down!’ So this is nothing compared to what you must have felt 😀

    • It may well be Dianne – very valid I think.

      I am at home for a couple of days mid beach escape (I’ll be going back) and on the drive home, about 3/4 of the way everything changes. It’s only an hour away and two days I was there but it’s like another world so I agree with your city/country experience.

  5. People rush to get someplace. Then they’re not happy where they are and rush off to someplace else. Don’t get in their way. You might slow down their headlong race to be unhappy.

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