There I was, reveling in my newfound superpowers, just jacking these rocks, when I accidentally broke my "noble silence." I thwacked a rock way up in a tree and noticed a dude from our retreat perched waaaaaay up on a branch, just chillin'. "Shit," I said, chuckling. "Sorry, dude." Luckily no gurus were around to see this blatant (yet inadvertent and entirely reflexive) speaking transgression.
On the third day of meditation, I finally did it. I reached the glorious moment we had all been striving for: For a moment, my mind went truly blank. The bliss lasted only a few seconds before the monkey burst in and I thought to myself, triumphantly, "I have no thoughts in my head!" which, of course, is a thought, so I had to start all over again. But for that instant I grazed that transcendental state these yogis speak of, I have to admit, it was bad. Ass.
I did make one memorable phone call
When the retreat ended and we were able to break our silence, I realized it was my dad's birthday and I figured I'd give him a call back in Chicago to tell him what I'd been up to. You know, freak him out a little. My dad's an old-school Italian who prefers hard work to wasting time meditating in Australia with hippies. I knew he'd get a kick out of this.