The Main Gompa (temple) we sat in for 7+ hours a day.
My 10 days at Tushita
First 6 days
6am : first gong ring (rung by our lovely friend Karin as her karma yoga job)
6:45-7:30am Mindful meditation with Ben, a soft spoken Iraseli
7:30 – Breakfast: porridge with Tibetan rolls, bananas, and homemade honey and PB.
9-11:45am Teachings with the Australian monk Tony. These were pretty brutal and long. There wasn’t much format and some ?s would turn the conversation into a completely different topic and I’d get lost. I doodled more than ever in my life and kept my head down a lot as my neighbor enjoyed staring at me a little too much.
11:45am Lunch: mix of rice, daal, lentils, veggies, fruit salad
1pm Karma jobs – While people cleaned dishes, bathrooms, swept, wiped, mopped, my karma job was to turn on/off the lights at every session. I felt guilty for having such a simple task but was not going to argue about it.
2-3pm Discussion group: We broke into groups of about 6 to speak about the topics from class. It was enjoyable to chat and sometimes we’d push our luck and talk longer about our lives, why were here, etc. It was hard to be around all these people 24/7 and not even know their name.
3-3:30 Tea time to get us back into silence
3:30-5pm More teachings with Tony
5:30-6:15pm Guided Meditation
6:15pm Dinner: always soup and rolls. My addiction to bread caused me to eat a dumb number of rolls while I was here. They were too delicious and I had little control.
7:30pm Guided meditation
Day 8&9: Included 8 sessions of meditation a day. We meditated on relationships (love vs. attachment), jealousy & rejoicing, fear, death, suffering, dedications, opening our hearts to a friend, enemy, and stranger, past & previous lives, being fortunate, Karma, walking meditation (suppose to concentrate on the sensations on the bottom of our feet, it was really difficult and I’m sure we looked like a bunch of creepy zombies), permanence, and did a really cool Bodhisattva purification method and chanted “OM Vajra Sattva Hum” as we pictured white light entering the top of our head and pushing all of our past non-virtuous actions out through our lower holes (yea real weird) as spiders, snakes, and scorpins (even weirder).
Unfortunately I got sick on the last day and half day. I spent most of my day vomiting and laying in bed. India finally got me. We aren’t suppose to kill any bugs here and the night before I killed a mosquito so I guess we could call it karma. On the positive side all the rolls I ate aren’t sitting on my hips anymore 🙂
More posts on my experience here soon. Love, Tor