Good afternoon everyone,
As some of you know, I’ve been struggling with my mental health for the last eight months or so. What you and I did not know is that I’ve been struggling for decades but didn’t recognize the signs. If you or someone you know says any of the following, it could be a conscious or unconscious cry for help.
Inability to say no
Always worried about losing you/their job no matter how well you/they are doing
Hemorrhoids that don’t go away or are recurring
Grinding of teeth at night
Broken teeth from night grinding
Tenson in parts of the body that stays or lingers
Replaying conversations over and over
They are practicing conversations before they happen for hours. Because they want to make sure they are understood.
Mental Health is something that we don’t talk about enough, and because of that, people suffer needlessly. Let’s break the stigma!!!
As most people are waiting for Christmas, I’m looking forward to Vipassanna in January. It’s been a year of ups and downs and the thought of 10 days of self reflection fills my heart with joy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to seeing my niece and nephew opening their Christmas presents and hanging out with my in-laws but 10 days in silence meditation sounds perfect. Somewhere over the past year or so I lost my practice and I’m missing the calming and centering effects it produces.
It’s getting easier to get up at 4 am and I’m looking forward to meditation this morning before Patricia picks me up at 7 am.
I can see myself incorporating the meditation technique(s) into my daily routine. It would be wonderful to continue on this path of self-discovery, hopefully, there are not too many days like day 6 or day 10 lol
Last day of the course, I go home tomorrow.
Noble silence is finished at 9 am and we can start talking again.
I’m not relishing all the noise as I’ve been in silence for 9 days. Somehow I manage to avoid talking till lunch. At this point, my experience goes off the rails again. I arrive late to the dining hall and when I open the door am buffetted with noise, I’m reeling, SO MUCH NOISE!!! I stand in line for my lunch, people are talking to me and I alternate between being sick to my stomach and feeling like I’m going to cry. How are they talking so much? When I get my dinner I sit down away from everyone to try and get my equilibrium back. Unfortunately, it’s not working so outside I go to be in silence. I sit down with a group of people and things start to slowly come back into balance.
I explain the above to them and that I practiced the techniques we learned to calm myself down.
One of them exclaims “It’s great that you have had this experience. It has given you the opportunity to use the tools we were given”
Hmmm…not sure I would have said that when I was going to cry and throw up at the same time.
Rest of the day is LOUD but uneventful. 🙂
I spend all but the group meditations (4 per day) in the isolation cell and start to love the extreme silence. In group meditations, I keep switching between frustration and compassion for the people around me breakdancing, snorting and burping. I guess I have not let the events of day 7 go yet. I still have a lot to learn.
The shiny feelings from Day 6 are a little tarnished but I muster through the day. I get my pass to mediated in one of the isolation cells and find that I’m not quite back to where I was the evening of day 6. Maybe tomorrow?
Having difficulty with the mental exercise for today. I don’t realize that I’m getting frustrated and, using the Buddhist terms, craving the successful outcome.
I’ve been trying to complete this task for 4 hours now, nothing is working can’t seem to get it.
The neighbour behind me lets out an ungodly burp and because he can’t breath through his nose blows it out of his mouth and it hits the back of my neck. Now let me tell you I’m a bit of a germaphobe and to make it worse I can smell what he had for breakfast. I manage a smile and think that I hope he feels better. The next time he burps and blows it on me, my smile isn’t quite as big. But, the third time he burps and blows it on me I now understand that he is the reason the lesson is so hard. The silence is now deafening and all thoughts of the exercise are lost and I fixate on he broken breathing hoping he doesn’t burp again and I’m sure I’ll get sick as well.
This continues through lunch and all the way to the right before the afternoon break when he burps again. This my friends is where I lose my mind.
Before I sit down for the last meditation period before dinner I give this poor guy the dirtiest look I have given anyone ever and proceed to move my mat as far forward as I can. I think this was much better than my first thought to stand up in the silent hall and yell at him to stop burping and blowing it on me. Self-satisfied, I sit down on my mat and immediately regret my actions. WHAT THE HELL is wrong with me? This poor guy doesn’t deserve this, I need to get a hold of my self. This thought process continues on through dinner.
After dinner, I decided to forget about today’s lesson and go back to yesterdays. Only I can’t accomplish that either…Oh Crap, what have I don’t to myself? I go back to another day’s lesson, then another all the way to the first day and I even have trouble with that. This is quite a departure from taking a vow of poverty and living like a monk.
Finally, things go back on track and by the end of the night, I can complete the excercise from the day before.
So what has this experience taught me? That all my suffering is in my head and furthermore I created the entire scenario within the 6 inches between my ears. Yikes!!!
Day 6 is wonderful, I’m ready to renounce all my possessions and take a vow of poverty. I’m sure my wife will understand, she loves me and wants me to be happy. She will visit me once and a while, right? 😉
All is right will the world and I can’t see how anything will ever change.