I Went To a Buddhist Retreat and All I Got Was This Lousy Sense of Spiritual Inferiority

I have been back from the weekend retreat for less than 24 hours and I’m already stressed, miserable, broke and stressed. Very stressed. My weekend of meditation practice yielded neither enlightenment nor insight. I saw no blue lights. I saw no lights of any kind. I wept only once but it was a pathetic, self-indulgent weep and no one was there to see it. I did not levitate around the room. I did not find myself sitting in the warm pocket of God’s dressing gown. But – in reality – I did what I hoped I’d do: I made a start. I also met some genuinely lovely people and stayed in a very beautiful place, where it snowed.

I took some pictures. Here is a small selection – click for big…

A Buddhist hideaway in the middle of winter, in the middle of nowhere. Mobile phones switched off for the whole weekend. Imagine that…

Jesus walked on the water. Buddha sat on a frozen pond. If it is Buddha. Could be one of those who came after. Hmmm. If this weekend has taught me anything, it has taught me that I know bugger all about Buddhism…

Close-up of a face of a rather beautiful garden statue…

Just a few good apples remaining, clinging frozen to the branch, soon to fall to the earth and be devoured by death worms and bog weevils…

Twig, depth, perspective, rubbish background…

And I gasped at Nature’s bounty, and I gawped at God’s majesty, and all I could think was, this would make an incredibly difficult jigsaw puzzle…

You know, sometimes I wish I were a tree…

If I were a tree, however, I fear I would be a weeping willow presiding over a frozen pond, the face of a sad young girl staring up through the ice…

The footprints led to the middle of the field, where they came to an abrupt stop. Three drops of blood and a single jigsaw piece were all there was to show that they had ever been there. How did they die?

Snowblossom, snowblossom, how I envy thy peaceful resilience.

 

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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