Initially the proposition seemed appealing. Attend a 10-day silent meditation retreat at the end of a tumultuous summer with five of my closest friends. Living in Dallas, we live less than an hour away from The Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center in Kaufman, Texas, a modest cluster of buildings on 34 acres of agricultural land that draws would-be meditators from across the country. For the last two years I have witnessed community members who have come back from the course and raved of the benefits. It seemed like it was finally my turn.