The truth is that by halfway through the hour it’s a battle of stubbornness: Our asses are sore, and we take secret delight in seeing our neighbors fidget and walk out—clearly, it’s proof that we’re closer to enlightenment than they are.
I drift to thinking again of silly daily concerns, and bury them with slow attention to breathing. I remember how I used to do this more often in another place. It seemed easier then to fall into this trance.
At the beginning and end of each session, everyone bows to a couple of Buddha statues and to the room around us. I refuse the gesture, but I get the point: You treat this all as sacred—the smell of rain, the air you breathe, the bare white lights, this moment—and it grows into something that begins to feel like meaning.
Monday, Thursday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m., Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m., Wat Langka, St. 282, Phnom Penh. Free (it’s just a room full of cushions).
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