“Free vacation in Zen paradise,” read the headline in my brain and before I knew it, I was enrolled, packed and en route to the center I’d chosen in Massachusetts. Once there, I was assigned a roomie, a cabin, and a designated meditation cushion—and gently stripped of almost everything else. I looked around during the orientation, my fellow meditators looking doe-eyed without an iPhone or Blackberry on which to focus. And so we began… Days 1-3: These initial days were all about quieting the mind, the foundation of all meditation. In Vipassana, this is done through simple observation of the breath. Yes, three days of observing your breath. Sound maddening? I thought so too. But actually it calmed me down, and dare I say, made me a little less mad.