The answer I usually gave whenever someone asked why I was moving to a monastery for a few months was “I want to stop lying to myself.”
They usually didn’t quite know what to do with that.
It really is as straightforward as that, though. We all lie to ourselves all the time – this is, I assume, not a particularly controversial thing to say. We create all sorts of stories about all sorts of things – about who we are, about what is and isn’t making us happy, about why we do the things that we do, about why certain events in our life happened the way they did, and on and on and on and on.
Some of these stories are true, but many are false, or not entirely true, and I’m pretty certain that we’re terrible at telling the difference.
Well, maybe you’re not. But I sure am. And I know plenty of others who are as well.
So, I wanted to go to a monastery so that I can understand my lies.
Okay – so how the hell can a monastery help me understand my lies?
And here I initially wrote a whole bunch of stuff on Buddhism 101 and the modern pop-culture version of mindfulness, but I couldn’t weave all the concepts together in a satisfying way so instead I think I’m just going to start talking about the silent retreat and see where it takes me.