David Duchovny goes on Buddhist retreat, ends up cleaning tables

by Jessica Carter, Entertainment News Examiner, January 4, 2012

New York, USA -- David Duchovny recently paid a lot of money to go on a Buddhist meditation retreat at a monastery in New York, and while many would think that you spend all of your time there meditating and relaxing, Duchovny said that they put him to work as soon as he got there.

<< David Duchovny says he would go back to the retreat

Duchovny revealed that he ended up spending more time busing tables, working in the gardens and shoveling horse manure more than meditating.  He said;

"I just went on a retreat to a zen monastery in upstate New York. It's a type of Buddhism and meditation is a big part of it. I'm a beginner, I've only been meditating for a little while. You pay a fee to go for this weekend and what I didn't know is that even though you pay a fee they put you to work immediately.”

“You go there and first you bus some tables after you eat and they had me working in the garden everyday for an hour-and-a-half. It was fun, I was shoveling horse shit out there. You pay money and then you shovel horse [expletive]!"

David went on to talk about the actual meditation process which included being wacked with a stick, and finding ways to sit cross legged for 45 minutes without your legs going numb.  He said;

"You're meditating quite a lot, 45 minutes maybe three or four times a day... and it's a very strict kind of monastery, they don't want you moving at all while you're meditating. You're sitting cross-legged or sitting on your heels. Your feet go numb... but I figured out a way to cheat and to move.”

“There's a guy who walks around with a stick and he's banging it and you can ask him to hit you on the shoulders with the stick and it's supposed to hit a pressure point and relieve some sort of stress, so I as he walks by, you're supposed to (bow). This means, 'Please hit me'.”

“I'd hear him come around and hear him whacking people and when he comes I'll be able to adjust a little, that's all I'm thinking about [because] I'm so uncomfortable. So when he comes round I [bow] and he hits me once here (right shoulder) and he hits me there (left shoulder) and then you do this [bow] which means, 'Thank you for hitting me', so I got to adjust."

Even though the retreat was not exactly what David thought it would be, he said that he would return.