Smelling: the dorm building and the café which reminds me of my school in Belgium, Mango Tango tea
Seeing: the white mist obscuring everything in the storm, the prayer flag lining the road to Dzogchen Beara
Feeling: very cold, damp socks, a fireplace warmth, fidgety, sore
Tasting: the gluten-free Belgian waffle I brought, a very rich broccoli and caramelized onion quiche
Hearing: coffee being ground, the bus parts rattling, Jerry’s falsetto and guitar-playing
The day started early so Laura and I could catch the earliest bus to Castletownbere. I decided to do something I hadn’t in a while– read the New York Times on my phone while eating breakfast. It just so happened that they’d just begun to include the Morning Briefing for European readers, and I saw Leonard Cohen’s name in the headlines. I somehow didn’t think that his name there would signify something bad, and I found out about his death from my dad on Facebook.
We boarded the bus at 8:30 and arrived at 11:30, and talked and watched the views the whole way. It was raining by the time our trip was over After arriving in Castletownbere we ducked into a pub where we had a cab called and it took us through very winding, narrow roads up to reception.
We checked in, dropped our bags off, and spent about an hour in the café reading and I writing. Meditation was at 3 p.m. in the meditation room, which I’m sure would have offered a spectacular view if the mist outside didn’t give us zero visibility. Not that I’m complaining– one of my favorite things is when I look out over a cliff or somewhere similar, and everything is white.
Meditation was difficult for both of us. We were both very tired and it made it very hard not to get distracted.
I went back to my dorm for a nap while Laura went out to read. When we woke up we had dinner in the common room/kitchen area. There were some fellow dormers playing guitar/singing, and just as Laura and I were going to go upstairs to watch a movie, they asked me if I play or sing. So I and Jerry, an older beginner guitarist, struggled to find something that I knew how to sing and he could play. But I ended up teaching him “Sweet Dreams, TN” to the best of my memory and he seemed very pleased with it. “I can’t wait to play this at the next session. The lads will be very impressed,” he told me.