13 January, 2013

Misery Can Make You Feel Alive

Pratheep Kotchabua 
MOCA, Bangkok
Just back from my 6th Vipassana and boy did it dig up a lot of self-created pain. The divided mind. One issue in particular which I won’t go into, because it is not really that important to explain my experience. Everyone has their own current problem they roll about in their mind, sometimes happy to gather up steam with normal every day problems we tack on.  I went sick with a bad sore throat, but with drugs to help that wiped it out by day three. There is not really a good time to do these, and you can also dig up enough pain to get sick while there, anyway. If you look for a reason to not go, a year can pass by without ever going. So, I went into the sit a bit exhausted and fought sleepiness in the morn and after lunch. I am used to this with my brain injury, pushing it beyond what I should, which usually brings frustration. I need more sleep to let the brain work properly with the new pathways it rebuilt to help facilitate these connections. New areas are taking over, not used to speech or movement. 

It was interesting to skate on the thin ice of consciousness while sitting, and would bounce back and forth. My arm would morph into a game board far from my body for instance and then catching it I would laugh internally while bringing it back. I would actually see the misery film projected outward that I could jump to escape my present task of body scanning. All the while I was stirring up my own hell with aversion to my problem, and then once bored with this flipped into craving food or sex or just a massage.  Both create pain in the body, which is a great mind-body link that you don’t have to intellectualize. It just keeps a subtle prompt to your source of misery. I spent the first 7 nights of sleep in nightmares of the unconscious unloading their tie-downs from freedom and my liberation. Several times, I thought I screamed out NO, NO, NO!!! both at night and while meditating but no one confirmed this when asked. Once seemed to be tied to the putting in of my stomach tube, so I could eat years ago in the hospital, which I took as torture after all I was put through, psychically... I presume. Yet was not presented as such, it came out as the unwanted chaos of my sister when she first had a schizophrenic episode busting the stability of her logic and brillance growing up when she helped balance out the up and downs of my father.

For those not familiar with Vipassana, you are watching(scanning ) your body for sensations: gross, subtle, pleasant or blank while doing sitting meditation for 10 days…working gradually as the mind gets sharper. It is not that bad, it is just work(awareness) and you get to see how you think constantly. The same patterns keep reappearing. 
What struck me is I created all the misery this particular time when I should have relaxed into a familiar setting with meditation. Am I that bored that I did this? Or no thoughts is not in my conditioning? I think it was just misery makes you feel alive, and being here out of the familiar aspects of home and friends with a new decision to make as I travel my wisdom path. I should be excited, because it is all new and not at all based on past misery…only thought to!

My reports are I feel more detached from my thoughts, a totally freeing experience. I have run into some Thai strangers who say I look clear and they could tell I meditated. Must have dumped some major misery. I am happy, but not elated...a relaxed joy pervades existence. Oh, and my problem never really materialized, perhaps it was a self-designed test?

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