Monastery Day #1

We met the “Warden”and she was delightful. She wants the girls to do yoga… Whatever we think is best, but no feet higher than the head. That eliminates some postures but not as many as you might think.

Then we watched as our beds were made, including our mosquitos netting!

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The really amazing part of the day was watching the novice nuns have their heads shaved. The girls were either joining the monastery from outer villages for years or coming to experience the nunnery for a week, 2 or more during summer holidays. Water Festival and the New Year marks the beginning of school vacation.

We all felt very emotional about watching the girls lose their hair. It felt like such a part of their identity but the girls did not seem stressed or regretful.

At 6 pm we went to the meditation hall for dharma talks from the monks and devotion and meditation.

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We were also handed our retreat schedule. Wake up at 4:30. Devotion and Meditation at 5, breakfast at 6, teaching from 7 to 9. Then the rest of the day alternated between free time and meditation. We teach the same group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders again at 5. No dinner!! No meals after 12 noon, but we do have some snacks. Phew! We teach the little ones from 7 to 8 and fall into bed, if we can avoid the jet lag middle of the night wake ups. The 4:30 am wake-up gong comes early!