How to play the Game of Sensations

Here are some guidelines on how to reap the minimum benefit of your meditation retreat.

1. If you don’t feel like meditating, if you are just not in the mood right now, don’t do it. Anyway, the schedule is only meant for those who are new at that thing.

2. Frequently compare yourself with other meditators. It will help you deepen your spiritual practice by establishing a win-win-win position: If they are better, then you are more humble; if they are worse, you knew it all along; if they are equal, find some fault in their posture.

3. Whenever you sit for an hour without experiencing any gross sensation at all, it means your meditation practice is improving. Be proud of yourself. You deserve a nap.

4. Whenever you feel pain, tension or any other unpleasant sensation in the body, it is a clear sign that you are not good at it. Maybe this whole scene is not for you. You are simply not made for it.

5. If you are not equanimous, at least try to look equanimous.

6. Eat as much as you can. It’s free. And it will help you stay strong. After all, there won’t be any dinner, remember.

7. Collect as many spiritual experiences as you can so you can tell your fellow practitioners. On day 10 at 10 a.m. the clock of noble chattering has struck, and you can be sure to tell a good story.

8. As soon as you leave the dhamma hall, meditation time is over. Cherish the intervals. This is really to point out the obvious, but it needs to be remembered, not least because there is so much talk about continuity.

9. If porn day raises its head, be sure to indulge. There is enough suffering in the world, and you’ve had your share of pain already. Whatever is preached about enlightenment and equanimity… whatever. At least you’re having a good time, right?!

10. The evening discourses are the truth, the truth, nothing but the truth. If you object to something or other that Guruji says, you are obviously deluded. If you can’t get over it or simply don’t believe in defilements, start a debate with the assistance teacher.