Walking along the path to Tushita Meditation Centre, I walked past the ‘silence please’ sign feeling the usual first-day-at-school nerves. This wasn’t my first silent retreat but you never quite know what to expect when entering the murky depths of your own mind. A touch of trepidation is probably wise.
An introductory course had started the day before and a girl with a desperate look in her eyes sidled up to me. Her eyes scanned the courtyard furtively whilst she whispered to ask if she could use my phone to message her mum. She’d forgotten to tell her she’d be out of contact for ten days.
Moments later I was joined on a bench overlooking the beautiful pine forest by a good-looking guy with a cheeky grin. He sat unusually close and reached into his bag for pen and paper. He scrawled the words ‘do you have toilet paper?’ and raised his eyebrows in hope.