May all beings be happy, may all beings be free
Well, its been over two weeks since I got back from the 10 Day Vipassana meditation. A few people have asked me what it was like, what I discovered, and it seems pointless to try to describe it. The experience is entirely different for every person who goes, much like sleeping in the same bed as your partner and having totally different dreams. Each time you go, no matter how many times you’ve done it, it will be different. New things will be brought to the surface. In fact change, and accepting change, really understanding it, is the main teaching that I finally GOT. And boy did it change me.
It definitely changed me. I am much more aware of what used to be spontaneous and unconscious reactions to the things people might say or do. I still react sometimes, but while its happening I’m completely aware of what Im doing. Which is a pretty odd feeling — watching yourself like you’re on camera. I know where I need to be with Vipassana, what I’m aiming for, and at the same time I’m completely non-judgmental and accepting of where I’m at. I’m accepting things a lot more. And definitely even more aware than I ever was before that my life experience is a DIRECT result of my thoughts and feelings.. and those I now have much more of a handle on.
It was hard, no doubt about that. There were a lot of restrictions, the kinds of things that would usually bring out my rebellious side. But I twigged very early on that all these boundaries and restrictions werent there for anyone else, but to help me to focus without distraction, and to show myself in various ways that I was committing to something for the healing of myself. I realised by the 7th day, after a few freaked out people had already left, that I was so close to the end and that I needed to finish this, to finish something. To finally commit to something important that I didn’t fail at or bail out of for so long now. So now that I have learnt how to commit to myself, I am finally ready to commit to someone or something else. That had never occurred to me before as a problem. Funny that.
Many years ago I saw this documentary about prisoners with life sentences who were put on a Vipassana meditation course just to see what would happen. I remember one of the inmates saying that the freedom he found through it was limitless, and that he was freer now in prison than he had ever felt outside of those walls when he could do anything he wanted. That stayed with me for years. With all the freedom that I had in my life, I still felt a prisoner of my thoughts and fears and insecurities, yet this man was no longer paying for his sins. He was free. I wanted to be that free.
Here is a trailer to a famous documentary about Vipassana you might be interested in seeing –
The Dhamma Brothers. I loved it.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8rPo8tZaKQ[/youtube]
Watch the full movie here for free on hulu and netflix.
For more information about Vipassana and free meditation courses in your area you can visit dhamma.org
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