I went on a meditation retreat because that was what woke people of the Bay Area did when they needed an assurance that they were not just the cog of Silicon Valley capitalism.
“Zen” in the U.S. was the decapitated head of Buddha in the mid-century modern living room, the Himalayan salt seasoned organic popcorn, and anything that soothed their busy minds.
My family practiced Zen Buddhism, but the most “Zen” I ever practiced since leaving Japan was as fake as white teeth. But I wanted the white teeth. I wanted to skip the suffering and calm the f*ck down and get on the rail to Nirvana.
Three days into the retreat, as I was sitting for the 40-minute meditation, I burst into an ugly cry. The threshold between the lies and truth shattered, and I could no longer manipulate my brain.
The truth was that I was hurt. I was sad. I was lonely. I was a human.