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.
The day is uneventful but I’m starting to figure out the hidden “language” of the meditation hall.
Unspoken language as it is unfolding to me. Every class seems to start like this lol
- Two sharp and quick exhales means “I’m ready to start the practice”. (the guy beside me)
- In reply (I am assuming it’s he friend) a long slow inhale followed by a quick exhale means “I hear you brother, me too”
Starting to get into a groove, I even forgot that anyone was around me for a while. The guy behind me is quite sick and can’t breathe through his nose. Poor bugger sounds terrible. The guy beside me is still suffering and the fidgeting on his mat has expanded to include, what I am assuming (my eyes are closed) os the breakdancing move the windmill.
The day is uneventful. Except I’m starting to feel love/compassion growing for all beings.
I’m very pleased I asked for the meditation chair. My back is much better now but I’m starting to hear how everyone else around me is suffering. The lesson for today is a lot easier now that I’m not being crippled by sitting cross-legged with no support. 🙂
MUST LEARN how to ignore the people around me.
Well, once again 4 am came way too early. My back is still tender from yesterday and I’m not sure what today will bring. Immediately, as chanting/speaking ends to start the meditation I fall asleep crumpled somehow in a seated fetal position. Urg, I wake up myself up by snorting a breath in (I’m assuming the tilt of my head has blocked my respiration) I’m a little embarrassed, but the teacher doesn’t open his eyes. Thank God for small miracles, who knows this might have happened already but, I wouldn’t know as I was asleep.
Now I notice that my back is protesting and no position I try allows me to stop the cramps in my back. I take a glance at my watch it’s only 5:13, 1 hour and 15 minutes to go till breakfast. I have no idea how I am going to get through this, I soldier on and try to get back to the mental exercise I was given for the day. The next thing I know the gong rings not sure if I was asleep or if the meditation was working. Time will tell 😉
Breakfast then back at my mat.
At 11, I can no longer even attempt to sit on the Zafu and ask the assistant teacher if I can get a meditation chair to sit on. BLISS!!!
Rest of the day is uneventful spasms are starting to subside. Yea!
As an example, the meditation chair pictured is from
Um…4am comes very early today. I sit on my zafu and confidently get ready for the start of the first meditation of the course which starts at 4:30 am. The assistant teacher gives us our first mental exercise and we are off to the races. I’m sitting crossed legged which, in the last 4 decades I’ve sat on the floor this way a grand total of never. ?
The exercise seems easy but my mind keeps wandering away from the task every minute or so. 30 seconds to a minute of work 5-20 minutes of my mind wandering. I’ve got a total of 13 hours of meditation today so I hunker down and keep bringing my mind back to the task as soon as I notice it’s gone.
My back is killing me and my legs have been asleep most of the day. I even somehow managed to fall asleep a few times. Yes…I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor and before you ask, no, i have no idea how i accomplished this feat. But at least it explains my sore back. Being crumpled over sitting on a zafu is not something I’m used to. But the mental exercise gets easier as the day progressed.
Well, you are probably wondering what the heck Vipassana is? I was too, (as we are driving to drop me off, eap) it’s a little like joining Masonry, you have no idea what you’re in for and not really sure why you are doing it. All you really know is there are some people who have gone through the process that you respect and because of this reason, trust that everything will be OK.