04 June, 2018

Fruits from my Third 30-day Vipassana

Offerings, give to get idea
After our trip to Sri Lanka, I got a last minute email from being wait-listed for my third 30-day Vipassana. I knew that it would be hard again for my partner, so I sat on the email for 24 hours, asking him when it was a good time to do so. So, when he said Ok, I confirmed and said good-bye for another month, and he stoically said to me, “don’t cry”. It was not like I have done this many times before, but I did not want him to feel that it was done to punish him. Off I went in April, better prepared mentally for what I about to do, more training of the mind.

Things fall into Place
It became pretty obvious, that this being the third time I felt like I could sit through “storms” of the mind, instead of feeling like I had to go walk it off. Most all sleepiness, instead of being laziness was purely a consequence of morning and lunch time digestion falling like clock-work at exactly the same time. Even though I ate lightly. I only missed one sit in 30 days in the hall or my cell, when the weather was stormy and sat in my room, but have always felt like the room sit was far less productive then the cell or the hall. Believe me, the cell is only you with all your mind stuff, the hall less so, but has the power of having many others sitting or having sat there in the past.

Real, but artistic rendering
On day 14, I had a worry storm hit my mind and spun on it for several hours, even feeling like I wanted to go. Later in our final sit of the day at 8-9pm, I got into a zone in my cell, and did not hear the final gong. At 9:40 pm a man who was further down in the pagoda, snapped his fingers, as a sign it was time to go. I left and returned to my room an my whole left side which is numb from my brain injury was vibrating amazingly. I just watched it for two hours until I fell asleep, knowing everything is impermanent. This was more a sign of enough brain(what I have left, HA!) concentration to power up the nerves that are still there. But later in the 30-days, when worry mind came up again, I had enough wisdom to recognize and release it immediately. This came from a felt sense that nothing comes from worry except mental distress.

Upon returning, it became obvious to me and my partner that more and more of my anger has subsided. He went as far to detail how much I have changed yet, I know I am still a work-in-progress. What was really the fruit of this sit, was seeing my partner join me in about one half of my evening sits, without asking or prodding. This was remarkable, because even though Buddha’s wisdom is born into him as a suffering Thai, and his history as a monk at age 13 for a year…surprisingly, he has never meditated with me in our 17 years. I still let him decide when to do it, but I continue two hours a day, one hour at 5am, and the other around 7pm.

Some takeaways for those contemplating a 10-day for the first time, just let your base intention to want a happier life guide through your own rough spots. As each hour, each day and every meditation is slightly different...so go with your flow. Your hinderances are very different than mine, and the great thing is you are teaching yourself through awareness with a path laid out by Buddha.

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