25th November 2015.
Head clouded with illusions and absolute no control over thoughts and anger, irritating skin inside out, broken heart, pending decisions, addiction to hallucination, randomness and etc..etc am sure! This was me when i entered the gate of dhamma pitha! Had only the little idea of what is vipassana. Few of my friends who went looked incredibly calm and changed and suggested me to ‘try’. I had assumed it to be some kind of meditation which would at least calm me down if nothing else. I had absolute no expectations from it. I went there just because of i was tired and frustrated of seeing the crowded city and honks and sleeping on the same bed with same thought. I needed a break.
Okay! Rules were strict there and it was must to follow the whole time table. By the sound of Gong, somehow i managed to get up at 4am. First day 3 days were called Aana-pan where we were just asked to do nothing but watch our breathe! 10.5 hours of watching the breathe on the first day. And with noble silence (Arya mon) it was bit weird at first but it was mandatory to take these 5 sheel (Sila) to continue the stay and learn the technique.
(Not to lie, Not to steal, Not to indulge in sexual activity, Not to kill any living being, Not to take any alcohol/tobacco or Drugs)
*State of Mind: Hmmm. Its boring but new. Lets try and anyway there’s no option now*
I had forgotten the watch at home. I had no idea about the time. The sound of the gong was my watch. I had decided to just give myself in this for next 9 days no matter how boring it gets because i had to. I have been giving up a lot before and this was my chance to break my habit of procrastination. Day 2, again Ana-pan! Watching the breathe. Now sitting for 10.5 hours had started giving me backache, painful neck,knees and arms. It was exhausting and thoughts wouldn’t stop at all. Dhamma teacher and the discourse of Sir Goenka had suggested to endure it and look at the pain with ‘Sakshibhaav'(being a witness to your pain). It was difficult and boring at first.
*State of Mind: Wtf.. I could have just gone to goa yaar! It was better if i had thought of gulping down the whole bottle of tequila or burn my lungs out with tobacco or grass, it would have shut out my brain from thinking about people and world. why am i doing this? Its so irritating. Plus my neck… Fuckkk! Hurts*
Yet another day of watching the breathe and feeling the sensation under my nose, above my upper lips! Body pain continues. I was the youngest woman among those women. Everybody was above 30. It was quite annoying because clearly it was difficult for these women to keep shut and every now and then some or the other aunty would pop up and ask me questions like ‘Are you not sleepy? Are you not hungry?’ and not only break their own vow but mine too. On day 2 itself, i accidentally nodded when i was asked ‘Not sleepy?’ by one fellow mate. Stupid aunty, broke my vow too.
*State of Mind: Guilty. Vow got broken. Body pain. Though better concentration over the upper lips but boring. Need a change. Again.*
Finally we were taught the technique of vipassana. The concentration from the upper lip shifted to head and then to whole body. Excited i was somehow and then started the enormous pain. Neck, arms, back, knees, head and fever accompanied. We were asked to observe the sensation inside the body for that whole day. It was extremely boring but had no option. From head to toe and toe to head i continued doing with my thoughts constantly trying to distract me.
*State of mind: Oh god. Why am i here? How is this going to help? They say everything in the body is changing every second. The pain is the sanskar. Its the detoxification happening. How? I can’t see. I want to go back. My skin is getting worse. I am constipated.*
Another day of Vipassana. From head to toe and toe to head. Observing sensations. Thoughts are little less distracting. Every time the thoughts of past or future drags me with itself. I had to go back doing ‘Ana-pan'(Watching the breathe, coming to the NOW) and then continue with the Vipassana.
*State of mind: I don’t feel like bathing. Why should i bath? Nobody cares and i don’t care either. And anyway everything is changing. Right? As they say… ‘Sab annica hai, nashwar hai’. Dark circles and dandruff is going to kill me anyway. I will go for spa once am out. I want to smoke. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.*
The whole day of meditation is bearable because of the discourse of SN Goenka ji, honestly. Even after getting bored to death i wait for the 7 pm discourse. His words were so logical and soothing. He always spoke my mind. It was like he knew what i was doing and thinking the whole day while doing it. HOW?
The Knowledge of Dharma and the relationship of body and Sub conscious is so amazingly explained. The whole day of meditation is explained. The thoughts, hallucinations, attachments, history, life and those hilarious examples were the reason i use to meditate 10.5 hours the next day. The balance was so well explained. The history of Gautam Buddha and vipassana. The mythological proof of it through our various caste/religious stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Quran and Bible.
*State of Mind: Okay. Makes sense. Constant rewinding of the words in the head. How true it is! Wow am so excited. But balance. I need to sleep. I cannot sleep. I have to tell this to Rushabh and Zeba. They would know what exactly am feeling. I want to talk. Talk. I want to write. I so want to write. Pen. Pen. Pen. But meh.. I have to continue without connection for 4 more days. Only 4 yay!*
The anxiety level is at top. Lost concentration because of the last night’s moment of epiphany and the happiness of solved questions. As a result, not able to meditate with that level of anxiety. So half the day goes in getting back the balance of mind. Too much happiness disturbs the process and so does the depression. As correctly explained in the discourse. And it happened.
By evening of the same day, mind played another game. Because i couldn’t balance the feeling, it made me furious and the anxiety continued. And now i wanted to run away. I was irritated and loosing it. My subconscious was fighting with me because it’s so not used to such sudden bright light on it.
*State of Mind: I want to get the fuck out of here. What am i doing? I need my mom. I need my bed. I need my phone. I want to talk. Listen to me. I wanted to hug my ex. I wanted my dad to take me out from here. I wanted to learn french instead of that. My eyes were swelling up. I wanted to jump off the wall and run away. I missed home. I missed everything i didn’t care about.I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I cried and cried. *
Only two more days to go. Intense meditation continued. The head to toe and toe to head.. the pain was lessening and sensations were more clearer. Patience level had visibly increased. Giving up was not an option. It would have been very coward of me. I have done that a lot in my life. Not again. And it was said in discourse- Boredom, Doubt, Ecstasy, Depression, Ecstasy for vipassana, Depression for vipassana are the major culprits which would try to break your patience and concentration. It will stop you from achieving the conscious state of mind. Acceptance is the key to calm down the devils inside. Everyday i woke up with the new feeling and this day was no different. Anxiety was in control. I think i had accepted the ecstasy and the depression i felt towards the vipasssana. I was back to balance. I had understood what i had felt. The attachment concept was getting clearer. Another question was answered. And i was calm.
*State of Mind: Lot of background songs still. It was happening since day 1. ‘Songs in my head’ but now i had learnt to focus. It didn’t have power to distract me. My issues were getting smaller with every ray of consciousness. One by one every knot and twists of regret and attachments were getting ‘untwisted’. And surprisingly answers were all inside. There was no one to blame outside. I started forgiving myself. I started forgiving everyone else too. And it just happened and it felt so natural and easy.*
Only one more day to go. I had so less time. I wanted few more days. I wanted to know more. I worked hard. I was now able to focus for a longer period of time. I was proud of myself and at the same time balanced. I could finally do it. The whole roller coaster of emotions were making sense now. The discourse was so helpful. It had almost all my answers and my body was the proof. The art of being on same page with peace was surprisingly possible now. The real peace, without any help of outer element. Clarity and patience was so easy to achieve i would have never known if i had not come here. The sync of body with the nature is all that is required. And the logic and science were right there. Nothing was philosophy. Nothing was mythological or fictional. It was all reality.
*State of Mind: The silence was unbelievably my favorite. And balance was all i needed to keep peace on my side. Now that i have understood how the beauty of everything lies in its impermanence. The change was felt inside. The constant change. The detachment and yet the love for it. I wanted all my loved ones to come here and experience. I wanted every being around me to stay happy. Everybody should know this and unlock this experience and benefit. World will no longer be the bad place. The prayers will make sense and be answered instantly. The superstitions will come to an end.*
And the noble silence ends and we’re taught the art of friendship and love. Its called ‘Maitri divas’. The love was all we could feel inside for every being on earth, every breathing organism, every visible and not visible. Listening to my own voice after 10 days was so different and so amazing. All of us were happy to know each other. The flow of energy was incredibly positive. There was not a inch of negativity. And another surprising incident, one of the women with me was my teacher from high school who i had not seen since 7 years. And it was so wonderful to talk to her. By end of that day, she was almost like a long lost friend. We could connect spiritually and it was so much fun to talk to her about how i felt and she could get every word of it. And then the life stories, why were we there and everything. We got our mobiles back that day. I called my mother the very first and even when i tried to jump out of excitement, i couldn’t. I was happy but calm. Balanced. After a while I called Rushabh and said ‘Hi..’ and i bet he understood my ‘hi’ exactly like i wanted him to. He has also been here. And I hanged up. There was no urge to talk to everybody or shout at top of my voice. It was contentment i guess.
*State of Mind : Peace. Love for everybody. Forgiveness. Clarity. Patience. The true meaning of ‘life is so short’. The acceptance of impermanence. Ready to face life with this new vision.*
It was wonderful coming back home . My parents are so surprised to see me. The level of patience was high. Love is all am emitting it seemed. I am able to stay happy and keep everyone happy. No urges to abuse any system of my body. Desires at bay. Charged up to work hard. No grudges against any soul. Less distraction from thoughts. Control over desires and there is this constant consciousness of being alive.
I would strongly recommend to whoever is reading this to go and experience this. Its an ultimate rejuvenation. The lighten one, Gautam buddha has given us this precious gift of Vipassana. All his life he taught ‘Dharma’ so that no man is sad or depressed. We should learn it and spread it. It would be the noblest act ever.
Be happy 🙂