i smiled to myself many times, to try to deal with over-all depressing vibe of the place, but to answer your question, they did not say "you are forbidden to smile" in those exact words, but it was implied. when they tell you to not make eye contact with anyone else except staff and the "teacher", do not interact with anyone else & ignore everyone else at the retreat - that pretty much says "don't smile, don't give a friendly nod of the head - don't even acknowledge that there is another person standing 2 feet from you."Johnny Dangerous wrote:Were you seriously forbidden to smile?
everyone else must have gotten the same impression, as no one looked at or acknowledged my presence, which in itself is sort of depressing.
i didn't mind the silence, i actually liked it, but to be told not to even look at the other retreat-goers or give a facial expression that might say "good morning" or "peace be with you" or whatever, that's going a bit far, in my opinion.
it's just rude.