Day 1 – 3
Although it is strictly forbidden to write anything here at the Vipassana Centre I found a little spot were I can disobey that rule…
I am living with another 5 women in a little cabin with one shower and one toilet in total silence on a piece of land. I don’t even know the names of my room-mates.
Today I skipped the morning meditation at 4:30am as yesterday I almost fell asleep in the meditation hall. Before we will get introduced to the meditation technique we started observing our breath and the sensations at the triangular area from the upper lips to the nostrils.
What a WILD mind!!So unsteady and incoherent, like a rabbit in despair! If everybody has a similar mind like mine, no wonder that the world is in such a chaos! Of course I had the ‘wandering mind’ experience before but by doing almost nothing else than trying to bring my mind and breath together it is different.
I am curious about the next days and potential revelations.
The Vipassana playground is strictly divided in a men’s are(n)a and a women’s are(n)a. Therefore 2 main distractions are eliminated:’men’ and ‘words’. Also it is not allowed to trespass the boundary of the retreat space, eating in the room or having any body contact. And these are just a few guidelines. Gladly I surrendered to all regulations for the lengths of the course, otherwise I probably would feel like an inmate, planning to escape! But I really want to dive into Vipassana, there is nothing to lose only to gain and what else is there to do than sitting, eating and sleeping?
I am pondering if animals also carry such an insane mind. Honestly, I don’t believe that is possible. Wild animals are depending on a harmonious coexisting body and mind in order to survive. And by the way can you imagine a whale with jumping thoughts? Or a dog that thinks about the future while running after a ball? Well, there is only one dog I got to know and I can even imagine that Philip would have been a much better Bundeskanzler.
I feel a little bit like a spy doing that prohibited writing. Right now I had to hide in the public toilets as it is still too dark outside.
What are we doing?
First of all I have to say that it is hard work! Meditating for hours and hours in stillness is tough. During the first days we could experiment with as many cushions and other supportive items to find a position to be able to sit still. Now we are asked to do so. Any movement especially with legs and arms cause an imbalance to the mind and according to Mr. Goenka everything starts there. We are trying to work with the so called unconscious mind which in reality is not unconscious as it permanently registers all sensations we get from our sensual organs. During the meditation we scan every inch of our body and experience in a disciplined order sensations; pleasant and unpleasant ones and the aim is not to react. The law of nature teaches that everything is changing all the time, so we are asked to treat our sensations as an forever alternating phenomenon. The depths of the mind and its misery productive patterns get changed when we are not feeding them with blind reactions. Eventually the pain leaves.
Vipassana is so simple and I am wondering why I have never taken time to explore my body in such a thorough and honest way. It is really time to do so, dive in and get familiar with myself.
It is snowing and therefore everybody is even more introverted. But the white flakes also conjured some smiles on faces. (and I haven’t seen smiles for awhile.)
Today is the day of big time doubts! Baaahhh! So many questions and disagreements in my head. Maybe it is time for asking the teacher a question but even that teacher-student relationship is dubious! Why is it not possible for teachers to enter the hall through the same door as the students and why can’t they eat with us. Furthermore why are they sitting on a podium while we are on the floor and besides they are really just assisting teachers. The whole teaching comes from Goenka and he speaks and chants from a recording or from a TV screen!
And I haven’t even started to write about my emotional, seemingly NOT changing turmoil in my head and my dramatic terrifying dreams!
Surprisingly I asked a question and it was even more astonishingly helpful even I did not feel completly understood.
But well I am observing the sensations on my body in a slightly different way today and sit most of the time in the meditation hall. I really hope that my butt won’t look like a pancake after these 10 days.
Ahhhh and I had the most sweet dream last night.
No matter if the way of Dhamma (Vipassana) shows us how to get rid of misery or not, it is really amazing how people have already changed! In the beginning of the course there was a lot of aching, stretching, reclining and sighing going on, so that the management (she certainly was a turtle in one of her former lifes) had a lot to do to keep the students aligned. Now there is almost no ‘Extra’ anymore. Determination is sensible. Everybody seems to be eager to get some of the truth in that way of meditation, including myself. I would have never imagined a change that quick would have been possible in such a heterogenious bunch.
Mankind can be so stunning!
If you don’t give water and soil to a seed it won’t grow. That is the whole secret of Vipassana, which Gotama the Buddha contributed to the world 2500 years ago. Just observe and you will be truly happy 🙂
By the way in addition to the observing, we are sweeping and piercing our bodies.I also do that in a little cell I got allocated to for the last 2 days. They built a brand new pagoda in Myanmar style. Another surprise happened as I walked in the cell even I was quite shocked about the size. Voluntary I stayed and meditated. My aversion against claustrophobic rooms did not agitate me. Interesting ha!
There are so many stars on the clear sky. It feels so precious walking underneath these shiny diamonds. The sun is also back, after snow, rain and ice cold temperatures. Did you ever observe the performance of the sun melting away the white frost in the morning? It is like magic and it is ‘only’ natural.
The last day.
The last instructions were given and I thought they are truly far away for me to reach. But never say never. I had the sweetest experience and I will keep that for me as a silent present without words.