Thursday, December 24, 2009

demonology 101

I met my anxiety demon on my first night at karme choling. I had expected to arrive, register, be sent to a room and told when and where to appear for dinner and evening meditation. but there was no one at the desk when I got there -- just a piece of paper with my name and directions to the guest house, where I was staying. nothing on times, places, or meals. I stoof there for a few minutes wondering what to do and looking, I'm sure, like I needed to tell someone that Timmy was in the well. Looking, I'm sure, the way I used to look as a kid when total strangers would tell me to cheer up. Finally a man in a suit came out of one door and explained that it was some celebration of something to do with the sakyong and everyone was watching some address, but there was a celebratory dinner at 6 and meditation started at 7 a.m. I drove off to find the guest house. the directions were imprecise in that way that New England directions can be imprecise -- I can't remember them exactly, but there was a sign and a road, on the left and the right, and one was in the wrong place; often there's another sign or another road in the right positions up ahead, so I kept going down a two-lane road with no place to turn around once I realized I was wrong. Finding the house took longer than it should have. My room was lovely and large, but there were two beds, both made up and with towels on them. would I have a roommate? I went back and forth between beds. I being by the wall, but the bed itself was soft and saggy, so I took the other one. but that had no light or table. and so on and on. and once settled, I didn't know what to do. go back to eat? but everyone is dressed up, based on the man in the suit, and all I have are jeans and T-shirts. everything had gone wrong so far, and my ability to accept whatever came along crumbled. I sat on the bed and panicked. and then I removed myself from the panic/anxiety, and invited her to sit down with me. I assured her that it would be OK. her name is wanda, and she is much like chloe from the early seasons of "24" -- awkward and aspberger-y, saying whatever comes to mind without thinking of the effects. we calmed down, and went back to karme choling for dinner and told everyone we met that we were lost and confused. and we got information about what to expect, which calmed the anxiety demon down and told me what I needed to know to get ready for the dathun to start.

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