Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my Zen to keep.
If I should somehow be led astray,
Just don’t ever let me wear hemp Aladdin pants in public.
That is all.
Actually, let me assure you that I willingly signed up for this, with no coercion. Promise. But now that payment has been made and my bag is being packed, I find myself more than a little nervous. I’ve never done anything quite like this before. Honestly, the closest I’ve ever come to a spiritual retreat is smoking pot at a Grateful Dead Concert.
The accommodations will be rustic, with no reliable wifi, or television, and only outdoor shared bathrooms and shower facilities. The Four Seasons it ain’t. But it looks like a beautiful setting and at least I was selfish enough to book my own cabin Although I use the term “cabin” loosely and only because that’s what they’re calling them on the website. In actuality, they resemble more what I would describe as “Unabomber Shack Chic.”
And what do I even bring to a spiritual retreat that promises yoga classes and guided meditations every day, a spiritual counseling session, and one evening of “devotional chanting”? I have no idea what the dress code is for a devotional chanting other than perhaps something like this…
…but unfortunately I don’t own anything like it. Maybe a hooded bathrobe or a smoking jacket will suffice. I like the idea of wearing yoga pants for physical activity, and a bathrobe or a smoking jacket with or without fuzzy slippers for any of the more formal events.
All meals are communal and described as delicious vegetarian meals which include organic produce from their own garden, as well as gluten free and non-dairy options. I will definitely give it a go, but I’m probably smuggling in some summer sausage contraband, just in case my carnivorous cravings kick in – I don’t want to be stuck wrangling a wild turkey and trying to whittle a spit to furtively cook it over an open flame out in the woods.
So why, might you ask, am I prepping for Karmageddon now? Well, to begin with I turned 50 this year, and I think that’s a pretty good age to push your comfort level. You may call it a mid-life crisis, I prefer to call it a mid-life awakening…or at least a mid-life take-a-closer-look at-your-options.
I am also in professional transition and feel the need to hit the reset button of my brain to begin my journey down a more creative path. If someone can help teach me how to live calmly in an un-calm world, how to occasionally still the constant chatter in my brain, and how to live more mindfully – heck – I’m all in.
Frankly things haven’t been so great lately. I’ve experienced some trying times with family and friends. I have struggled with my own sense of self and felt far less healthy both physically and spiritually than I desire to be. And recently I’ve seen some pretty shitty things happen to some people I love that has shaken my admittedly already rickety sense of faith.
So it can’t hurt. And who knows? Maybe I will even learn how to do that blasted Crane pose. Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.