About an hour from St Louis, in Augusta, MO, is the Mid-America Buddhist Association (MABA). Every Sunday, they offer very interesting sounding programs followed by (what I assumed would be) a really tasty vegetarian pot-luck style lunch. I'd always wanted to drive out for one of the programs but never managed to actually do it until last weekend. Starting on Friday and ending Sunday, MABA held a mediation retreat based on the concepts of metta -- a Pali term meaning loving-kindness -- and karuna -- compassion. This was a casual retreat, meaning that you could stay all weekend or you could just pop in on any one of the days, so I only went for Saturday's activities. The schedule was basically a day-long repeated cycle of dharma talk, meditation, walking meditation, and exercise (walk or yoga) with a delicious vegetarian lunch at noon. And, before I write anything else, I have stop here and say -- OMG! What those little Buddhist ladies can do with soy! Anyway, it was a lovely day but much harder physically and mentally than I would have ever thought. But, it felt really good to leave with a sense of having achieved a mindfulness that I hadn't had when I walked in through the door.