Noon – Today was far less difficult than yesterday.
No screaming back pain. I think it’s the IBU that’s f’ing up my stomach. Didn’t have any dairy, wheat or soy today and was fine until I took IBU.
Lunch today was the best meal so far. Yellow lentil curry soup and TWO kinds of salad! One had sorta ruffly lettuce with tomatoes and a sweet vinegarette dressing and then the ever awesome salad bar. Inspirational Salad Girl outdid herself at lunch with a huge mountain of salad on her plate and it looked like she made her own dressing. I don’t call her inspirational salad girl for nothing!
To amuse myself I’m making up names for people. There’s the Nice Manager and the Kind Teacher. In the row where I sit right in front of the teacher I’m between two other old students. The one to my left I call A1 because that’s her cushion position. (I’m A2, I try harder.) The one on my right is Burpy because she’s prone to frequent burping. Someone behind me is Rustly Girl because she’s always fussing with her cushions and blankets. Then there’s Anna, that’s her real name, who helped me at registration. Anna sits directly behind me. It’s nice knowing Anna’s got my back. Anna I call Dignity, Grace and Beauty because, well, that’s what she is. My nickname for myself is Spilly because I seem to keep spilling and sloshing my drinks out of the cups I’m using. Then there’s Rude Server Girl who broke *Noble Silence for some reason to quiz me about why I was sitting outside the meditation hall. That was really odd.
Rude Server Girl – “Are you okay?”
Me – “Yes.”
Rude Server Girl – “Are you a new student?”
Me – “No.”
Rude Server Girl – “Are you a server?”
Me – “No.”
I thought my one word answers would make it clear I was observing Noble Silence and wasn’t open to conversation, but apparently she took it upon herself to usher me into the hall even though the talk hadn’t started. I wasn’t late. It was weird because the only people who are supposed to talk to us are the teacher or the manager.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m waking up more or if it’s because of the clouds in the sky, but Joshua Tree is GORGEOUS today. Cool and a little overcast because there are so many clouds in the sky, but the air is fresh and crisp and WOW. The vistas are mind-blowing.
I have seen lots of little creatures since I’ve been here. Chipmunks, rabbits, lizards, and birds. The desert exists on her own terms. I like that about her.
P.S. – I can’t be sure, but I suspect my water bottle is cheating on me with the other water bottles while I am meditating.
* Noble Silence – a technique used by a lot of Buddhists, monks, and nuns in which a person refrains from speaking as a way to help quiet the mind and condition the body in the discipline of right speech. By learning to keep from speaking every word that comes up, we can censor or even omit harmful speech, and thus keep from causing harm and suffering to others and ourselves.