My introductions to Vipassana came from a few people over time...
Two of my best friends did the course. They told me about it but it didn't catch.
Then I was training one day in a Muay Thai gym with a student that I didn't normally share classes with.
"You haven't been around for a while" I said as I dodged his punches.
"I've been out of town" he caught a chance to spit back.
We had 3-4 good round sparring.
Fighters always have a hard time keeping distance with my long limbs. This session was no exception... but something was different and I wanted to find out what.
"You need a ride somewhere?" I offered as we were cooling down, it was snowing outside.
"Yeah man, would save me time waiting for the bus, going to my girlfriend's, she lives by the Beer Store at Rideau."
"Dope..." I used to say in those days "...I have to pass by Rideau anyways"
Once we were in the car I figured I had some time to get to the bottom of what was different about our fight.
I asked about his training, he said he made up his mind that he wanted to be a fighter full-time. This was now his number one priority and any job or other activities would be purely to sustain his training and competitions. Cool.
I asked him what his schedule was like. "Well I'm finishing a chemistry degree but that's just for my parents. Other than that, I work as a bartender a few nights a week. The rest or my time is training and recovery. Most of my recovery time is with my girfriend."
"Cool dude, you've always been super passionate, what's different?"
"Well, I used to think Muay Thai was gonna be just a hobby but now I know it's something I love. I realized it while I was at this meditation retreat."
"Is this one of those 3 day silent things?" I asked.
"Actually it's 10 days... My girlfriend was going so I thought I'd go too... it's different than what I expected. They teach you that every action you do, emotion, and thoughts... they all start as a sensation in the body"
"That reminds me of something I heard about Jung.... but what is the course like?" I said realizing I was pulling into the Beer Store parking lot.
"I'll give you the website...." He types dhamma.org into my cell phone. "Gotta run bro, thanks for the ride." "Cheers"
I didn't really need to pass by Rideau. I sat there reading the website. The landing page had an essay... The Art of Living... the sweet words still resonate with me to my depths... We all want to die smiling, happy, feeling gratittude and peace ... to die a happy death requires us to live well... so the art of dying is the art of living... how sweet each word was... and still nothing about body sensations, or breathing techniques. I was hooked anyways.
I had a fight coming up. Then a new job... it would be almost 10 months until I attend my first 10 day course... but the wheel was set in motion... the course was set... the direction of light.