I met them again during my daily stroll. Carefully I went closer to the kangaroos and lay down. They briefly looked at me and then ignored me. This was the deal at our spot. I silently enjoyed the companionship, laughing kookaburras and sunshine. At first sight, harmony seemed to prevail in this meditation center. Appearances can be deceiving, though. The Australian Animal Kingdom served as my lightning rod. My monkey mind was jumping around as before. The focus and discipline of the first meditation course were no more. Even the best intentions couldn’t get me ‘into it’ anymore. I observed the given without judgment. So be it. Forcing is useless. This isn’t about performing or ‘having to.’ Still. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The lost son returned for a rematch. Same same, but different. I wasn’t a silent participant for now. No, this helpful volunteer would speak out. He would cook and clean. He would follow a schedule and meet his obligations. Of course, there was lots of meditation between the daily chores. It’s a seemingly lovely combination in a relaxing place. How utopian. Perfect almost. Ah, perfection. It turned out to be an illusion once again.
I stepped into the kitchen with slight sunburn. Thank God for the easy recipes and instructions. Or I would’ve entirely ruined the meals. Not the end of the world, though. We wouldn’t receive complaints anyway, even if everyone were hitting the shits. Our customers simply accept reality as it is. Or try doing so – just like us. Voluntarily participation comes with obligations. It’s the same everywhere. There are rules to obey. Heaps of them. Rules which Lyndon and I had a hard time with. He called himself ‘the least uncivilized man of this criminal land’. Enough said. Nothing was alien to him: rudeness, satire, black humor. It’s an exciting mix in a place where religious, political, social and ‘difficult’ subjects were a no-go. Simply because they would ‘disturb the harmony’. Well, let’s be cryptic then. Subtle jokes, sharpen remarks, striking facial expressions, creative expressions. No Orwellian toolbox will stop us. Many roads lead to Rome, and the thought-police wants to block them all. Fortunately, wanting something isn’t the same as getting shit done.
It was the last day of the course. Our time was up. After the final formalities, I threw my stuff in Lyndon’s car. We drove off at a snail’s pace. Going mental without anybody hearing it was possible by now. But we respected the rules while still being on the compound. Then we drove through the gate. Okey dokey. Just spit it out.
“Mate… Let’s get pissed, shoot some roos and shag some sheilas ay!”
We burst out in laughter. The giggles kept us going, over and over again. Help, I can’t breathe. I nearly suffocated as tears ran down my cheeks. We let out a sigh of relief once our tears dried up. What’s fresh tastes best. The free word triumphed over the oppression. We celebrated this sweet victory in a state of euphoria. The pedal hit the metal. Everything roared and burned. We went with the wind as the tires squealed. Despite all the revs and noise, we didn’t get anywhere. All that remained was a massive cloud of dust. One that comes and goes – just like us. Many before us did the same, and many after us will do so. We’re merely traveling lumps of stardust that make the best of it. There are plenty of topics in that. Our open conversation went in all directions. Wonderful. That’s how life feels lively. This is how it should be. This feels like coming home.
The best man dropped me off at a train station. Big delays. No problem. There are enough thoughts to ponder on. Many don’t know what to do with (prolonged) silence. Other people’s reactions spoke volumes as soon as I shared my meditative experiences. Disbelief. Horror. Wonder. Curiosity. ‘Being with yourself’ at this duration and intensity isn’t self-evident. It’s unusual and abnormal. This is especially apparent within big cities. Look around and see the quick fix of this discomfort. Earbuds as an emergency exit. Forced conversations with no pauses. Background music to fill a lurking void. E-opium of 200 grams to sink in. Quite sad to see. Silence is so useful. So enriching and clarifying, so purifying and helpful. Running away from it is such a shame. It’s a waste that no landfill can harbor. That’s all evident – especially in such meditation centers.
Yet, not a single word was said about the superlative. The fear of silence is profound. Deep, fist-deep. But the chronic fear of inconvenient truths or ‘wrong’ opinions goes beyond that. The urge to control is everywhere. No place is excluded. Not even the wonderland of acceptance-and-letting-go. Ugh, what a gross aftertaste. You have to eat ripe fruits before they turn sour or bitter. Having thoughts and opinions is a fact. They exist. Even if they aren’t written down or spoken out. Even if they aren’t allowed or don’t fit in the narrative of society. In the end, it doesn’t matter how much resistance or oppression they face. They have the last word sooner or later. What’s brewing or under pressure finds a way out eventually. Watch and see. Ballast disappears. Everything becomes balanced by itself. It’s no rocket science. Keep this in mind. Live and let live. Do your thing. Great. Keep it up.
Sooner or later, the control freaks will have to face this rude awakening and simply let go.