Sunday, November 29, 2009

Indian Wedding or Vipassana Retreat?

For weeks, I had been looking forward to upcoming 9-day End-of-Year retreat with Gil Fronsdal at Spirit Rock. Since I was going to be gone, Prad made plans to attend his nephew's Indian wedding in Singapore, during the same time. Going with his children. My daughter would enjoy time at home meanwhile. I would have plenty of time to see her before and after the retreat. It all worked out.

A few days ago, daughter decided to go to the wedding also, and join the rest of the gang. Things were different now, past tipping point where retreat made complete sense. What if I bagged the retreat, and joined them all? I started to look into other later retreat alternatives that wouldn't conflict with the wedding. It has been two days now, of tossing and turning idea in my head, and feeling torn, between pull from family ties, and urging from spiritual self.

Caught in a maze of conflictual intentions, and emotions, I put question out on Twitter:

dilemma: to go to Indian wedding w/ whole family, or attend 9-day Vipassana retreat w/ Gil Fronsdal? feeling torn . . .#buddhism

and got answers from Twitter sangha friends, Tetsubishi and TravisE:

Tetsubishi @MindDeep Gil does retreats several times a year. Your family's friends are only going to get married once (one hopes!) - why torn?

@Tetsubishi why torn? spiritual craving, that's all - craving, hmmm . . . #buddhism
Tetsubishi @MindDeep Many who benefit from GF's teachings never sit with him in person at all, whereas you do so almost every week. Craving? #tsk ;-)

TravisE @MindDeep They will hold other retreats. ;)

Yes, another lesson in not clinging, even to plan of Buddhist retreat. Going to the Indian wedding seems like the right thing to do . . .


  1. If you have, and it's convenient, you could visit Sarnath in Veranassi. Walking those ground took Buddhism out of a purely theoretical arena for me and grounded it firmly in history. Quite an experience.

    Have a great trip!

  2. Thanks Travis. Actually, these are two separate trips! the wedding in in Singapore, and the Buddha pilgrimage is planned for later . . .