lost soul 2

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

DAY zero to three- Vipassana meditation- part-III


Hi friends,

I would like to thank you for Voting this topic for the Indispire.

experience about A 7 days experiment to stay away from all modern gadgets and apps like mobile, laptop-computers, internet, social networking, E-games and how you spent that time? with family? traveled? meditated, anything you experienced. #7dayexperiment

From 2nd september to 12 September 2014, I attended Vipaasana meditation,a 10 days residential meditation program. it was the best and hardest ten days of my life.

 Vipassana originates in India from the teachings of the Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. Over the years it has been diluted and modified in other parts of the world, but has  been practiced in its pure form in Myanmar. The Myanmar version as taught by Sri  S.N. Goenka,  has spread globally in recent years thanks to the positive results reported from the practice and its easy accessibility. It’s open to people of all races and religions and provided on a donation basis. it requires some tough rule and regulations and being away from all modern gadget, books, even speaking is not allowed is one of them.


So I put this idea for Indispire and it got selected. Now I have to write  all about it.

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Day Zero


I had to report there on 2nd September by 5:00 pm.
I noted down the address of Dhhamma lIchchivi, Viashali Vipassana Centre, Muzaffarpur, Bihar and the direction to go there. 
I went there by 3:30 pm. 
It is far, very far from city and away from all worldly distraction and noises.
A big garden area and some residential buildings for occupying 40 students at a time, separate for male on the right side of dhamma mediation hall and female on the left side of dhamma mediation hall, a dining hall and dhamma hall for meditation, and concrete path to approach them in the middle of field surrounded by trees, shrubs-grass approx. of my height, and flowers. 

It was like, I have come to a small home situated in the lap of nature. A place, where you can find so much soothing environment, birds chirping, singing, flying.I watched sunset. It was cool.
  
I saw other 30 persons. They were in their 5th year of ten year course of priesthood of church and this course was mandatory for them to attend and with them was their teacher, who has attended this course 4 times. Till the time Noble silence has not begun, so people were talking.
There was a residential male course manager and a female course manager to assist us should we have any problem with our accommodation. There was an old student, who was there as a volunteer-instructor to serve us in every possible ways.
I took the registration form and filled it and manager told me all the hard rules and precepts and asked me, if I am still willing to do it. once you are in, you can't leave the course in the middle.
 I said, yes, I will complete it and filled the form, and he again repeat all the moral precepts in front of all of us.
A short briefing is as follows:
1. Not killing.
2. Not stealing.
3. Not committing sexual misconduct.
4. Not telling lies.
5. Not taking intoxicating substances.

Then I handed over my mobile phone and some cash/purse and other valuables.

Then I retire to my room in dormitory. 

we were called for early dinner and after that a briefing in DHAMMA Mediation hall by course manager and NOBLE silence (Silence of body, mind and speech) begun.

it means no physical contact, no communication of any type, no talking, even eye contact should be avoided. No exercise, not practicing other ritual, no yoga, nothing, only have to do, as we are instructed. 
We were allotted particular seat, with cushion and told to practice meditation on the same seat for all time. 

Meditation hall was little far from other residential buildings and around 8:00 PM we entered in it. It was very dimly lighted, but still visible, airy through windows and free from insects and mosquitoes. 
The aura of the hall was something different, very silent and we all sat cross legged on our respective seats on the floor, facing the teacher. 
Men sitting on the left half of the hall, and ladies on the right.


Then the assistant teacher started playing the Cd, we were taught Anapana technique, the voice of Guru Goenkaji came repeatedly with his peculiar throaty chanting and instructions: Work diligently, work ardently, work intelligently, work patiently and persistently, and you are bound to be successful, bound to be successful.” And it was repeated all time and days during meditation.
It was over and we all returned to our respective rooms for sleep. I tried to sleep, but excitement was everywhere, it was different, I was having a break from my miserable, boring life, I tried to sleep.

Day One:


Bell rang nearly 4:00 am in the morning, or still night for me, as I used to wake up after 7:30 am, sky was still dark and full of stars and my day hence started. 

It seems hard to wake up, but having no other option, i went to bathroom and did all routine work in 20 minutes, and I was ready to go to meditation hall. 
I was amazed how fast I became ready and how I left my laziness to take bath so early. 
Requirement of torch seems necessary and thank god I was having it, I lit it to see the path, so that not an insect would die under my feet.
4:30 am in the morning, I am awake, fully fresh, in t-shirt and lower pajama, and on the way to dhamma hall, was not it first sign of change? 
I entered along with fellow students and sat on my seat cross legged, eyes closed. 
Chanting of Guruji started and we have to sit there and do mediation for 2 hours, till 6:30 am. 

10 minutes and I felt the urge to move my legs, it started all paining. I shifted my posture. 


We were asked to breath in and watch it, breathe as you feel comfortable, don’t take deep breathe, or fast breathing, just take it your natural way, just take it, observe it and be aware of it. 

When our awareness wandered about something else than the breath, we had to bring it back to breathing, firmly but without any feelings of anger or disappointment. 

I feel sleepy. I awoke myself. 

But At I could barely manage to focus my attention for even a few consecutive breaths. 
It was, like my mind was wandering here and there, so fast, so random, and sometime relevant and some time so irrelevant. The simple task of observing my breath seems so difficult. 

Mind was not ready to obey that simple instruction, sometime past, sometime future, it is faster than anything in this world. It was like I am bound to sit there, I am in prison. This was first time, I have to do something, in spite of all the revolt from within.  I took my mind back to the observing breath. Then it wondered towards the end of time, it was waiting to hear the last chanting and for 6:30 am, so that I could run away from here. 
   
And somehow it was over. Gong rang and everybody headed towards the dining hall, to take breakfast. I stretched my body, took a relieving breath. After breakfast I came back in my room, my roommate was already there, I didn’t see towards him, and laid on my bed. And slept so soon. 8:00 am and bell rang, and I headed towards Dhamma hall again for group meditation. And the same thing, focus on our respiration, chanting of guruji Goenka, and we did till 11:00 am. Leg was paining, and I was trying hard to concentrate towards my breath. 

11:00-12:00 am, and it was time for our lunch, then 12:00-1:00 pm, rest and interviews with the teacher, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.-Meditate in the hall or in your room.

 I was feeling laziness. I didn’t go to the hall, and tried to practice in my room itself. But I felt sleepy and slept till bell rang and I was awake for group meditation in the hall at 2:30 am. 

Now I have decided, I will not do meditation at room, its hard to stop the urge not to do and sleep at room, so I did till 5:00 pm, till the tea break. Tea, one fruit, some light snacks and I came back to my room. 
6:00 pm and again group meditation in the hall and again the same boring work, concentrate your mind and observe your breathing. 

Mind was wondering as usual, it was not in my control, and I was trying to be patient and keep it on the work, as soon as I realized it to wondering some elsewhere. Instruction were repeated in Hindi and English again and again. Some mantra in Paali language were also being chanted there. 
At 7:00 pm, we watched a videotaped discourse by S.N Goenka that explained more theoretical aspects of our practice, answered frequently asked questions and informed us of what we would be doing the next day. 

Personally, these discourses strongly motivated me to practice diligently and persistently. It said, its usual to wonder and not having control over our mind. After all till the age, all we have done our work under his guidance, he used to be our master, and now we are trying to take control over him, so he will deny, he will run, he will try to break our vows. 9:00-9:30 was question time and then at 9:30, we retire to our room. 
I laid at my bed and think about the day spent.  It was not easy, it was hard, it was boring & hectic, it was paining little bit also, how I will do it for next 9 days, I don’t know. it was very tiring day, and I felt hungry also. I tried to sleep. As I have to wake up at 4:00 am also.

Day Two

Same routine, but when I woke up, I felt much pain in my legs and body. I was not fast like, the previous day, and I went somehow in meditation hall. 

Today practise was extension of 1st day, it was to feel the sensation of our breathing, where it touches during breathe in and out. It was instructed to decrease the area of concentration to triangular area around our nose and gradually decrease that area too. The purpose of this was to sharpen our concentration and feel the subtler sensation. Not to search for any particular sensation, just feel, whatever happens during the breathing around the triangular area, lightness, heaviness, vibration, itching, temperature fluctuations, whatever comes, observe objectively. 
It seems so easy in instruction, but in reality It was so difficult. Same routine, and in the morning time again I was waiting for breakfast timing, forcing my eyes, not to open, forcing my body to keep still. I wondered is it some kind of punishment, and is it the way to purify my soul. My legs were paining like hell and I was finding it hard to sit still on my seat. Yesterday mind was roaming and today also it was roaming and also another distraction of pain was rocking my mind. I was struggling to be calm, keep patience, do as Guruji says, but don’t know how successful I was.

My past was opening up like reel of movie. Previous 3-4 year of my life was flashing back and forth again and again.

I was able to watch them in such a small interval of time. The day I first saw her, and I forget to ask her name, and she went somewhere else. Happiness and then sorrow, then a sudden encounter at a new place in another strange way, then started talking, it was like I am on roller coaster ride, going up and down, mind is wondering, leg is paining, I am drowning in past events and as soon as I realize it, again I try to do the work of observing. 
Then suddenly it came to my present state, state of my being away from her, and pain crossed across my mind then again I roam back to the time when I purposed her, whoaaa!! Whats happening with me, mind is denying to listen to me. He is imposing his own business upon me.
What I did? Why she left me? Where was my fault, for one- two second I was observing my breath, and 10-15 second mind was showing me another picture very alive.
It’s painful, I imagined, if she would not have leave me, where I would be, who I would be, I was roaming to the future, but it is not true, and here I am addicted to bad very bad habits, thoughts and all. I like darkness. I like to be alone, I like to punish myself, drinking heavily, cursing myself, hating myself, and for what reason, I don’t know.
These thoughts were coming on surface very strongly, they were very intense, and it was like I was re-living them again. Anger, aversion, apathy, hate all were attacking altogether and physical pain in leg was not comparable to those ones. I was in suffering and for what reason, I don’t know. But they were all hidden underneath my mind, my past, and somehow they got chance to come on surface, and they were so many of them. 

I tried to blame god, I am trying to do something good, then why they are not leaving me behind. 

I was in fire, in rage, I never did anything wrong with her, I only wanted her to be happy, yes I was little bit selfish, I love her much, very much and wanted something in return, but very little bit, her smiling face was enough for me. But then it worked, and it sparked between us, and I thought I got my greatest treasure, and I don’t need anything else. 

My days were brighter than ever and I was in seventh heaven. Life couldn’t be so pleasant. Then sudden darkness prevailed in my life. The moon disappeared and all left was a black dark night, which used to haunt me every day. I wondered, why anyone gets so much pain, hatred in return of love and compassion he has shown, why people think always to their benefit and loss? Am not I doing the same. 
I woke up from the dream. And tried to put my mind back to the work.

 Gurji was chanting, do it objectively, diligently. And I was still struggling to do the same.
Then I saw my parents, in my childhood, their love, their caring, and their sacrifices. Then again I travelled randomly to my collage time, and my first year final Basic electrical Lab Viva, where we all four came without any preparation and maám was frustrated with us, what to ask, and we all four were laughing inside. She finally told us to tell any four question answer all by our self, but no one did, who can remember, after night out counterstrike game. And she asked, have you really cracked the prestigious all India entrance examination and achieved such a good rank, and still it didn’t penetrate inside our so thickened skin. 

I smiled. Life was not all boring and full of sorrow. It was cheerful and royal, relaxing also. 
Then again darker side emerged all of sudden. I wanted to leave all and wanted to run away from all. I wanted to drink and that urge was on fire. 

What was going with me? Am I really doing meditation? I don’t think so. My memories are not leaving me behind. My mind is making up ifs and buts, different possibilities, different stories, past and future, which can’t be changed and I don’t have the control over it. 
I felt like, I am in real prison. But I have to complete it. If it is a prison, then I have to live in for 10 days. If it is like burning in fire, then I will burn my soul, I will purify my soul.
It was tougher than yesterday, after breakfast I crashed on my bed, till the next session, after lunch again felt sleep till gong, it was so painful, tiring, and my thoughts were haunting me like hell. But I have to do it anyway.
So day ended, and another video session with Guruji and he made many things clear. I had experienced all day, my deepest fears, my anxieties, my past, my future, my weakness and they were intense, overwhelming, but why they were emerging, I was having no idea, that it was purification of my soul.

 Guruji compared it to a physical wound, an infection, a doctor cut it and all puss comes out and lot of pain along with it, but it is necessary to do all the operation, to take infection out of our body, to take out all the puss, then he apply balm so that that wound can heal, the same is with the purification of mind. 
he is doing mental operation in ten days and all the deepest bad thoughts, experiences are coming out of our mind and getting washed, getting out of our mind, and it is not pleasant, but it is necessary to go deep inside yourself and dig up old scars, emotions that are buried deep inside still after the incident that caused them, and when they are going out, they will give pain, but it will purify your soul.
I felt relieved and went to sleep. Yes today was tough, very tough, I wanted to leave, run away from here, but at the evening discourse, guruji said that it is normal to feel this way one second day. I was amazed to see so much turn up of emotions in such a less time. I saw how weak I am inside. I saw how my mind roams so fast. I saw, how I am playing in hand of my mind.
Body was breaking in pain, I was having no energy left and laying on bed was feeling so much comfortable, I can’t explain.

Day three: 
 
On third day, triangular area was reduced further and we practiced to watch just the mustache area, below nostrils. 

I was calm today, emotions were not so intense as they were yesterday, and I was able to concentrate on my mustache area. I was feeling the heat of my breath, and the sensation over the hairs. 
Very subtler sensation were emerging, along with itching, pain and other sensations. 
The pain in my leg was subsiding, and I was not so disturbed like I was yesterday. 
But still the mind was roaming here and there but I was able to realize the wandering of mind very soon and again able to put it on the work of seeing sensations. During the tea time, a question was coming in my mind, what to do next, where it will go? 
I tried to configure this out but some how I was not able to find it and concentrated towards the snacks. 

The food, which they are serving us, is vegetarian, as I am veg, I don’t know, what other might be thinking  about it, but it is very simple and yet a good taste and every day different dishes, and yes I forgot to tell, we have to take food all by our self, and do dishes after food.
At the evening discourse, Guruji told that this was just a preparation for the Vipassana meditation, we were being prepared for that, and tomorrow would be Vipassana day, and then real mediation will begin. 
I often wonder to leave all behind and be a monk, but these three days of being a real monk like exercise taught me the reality. 

It’s not so easy to achieve the ultimate goal, it needs lot of practice.
At night, before sleeping, I analyzed today, and saw, my mind was not so reluctant and it was listening my commands. 
I was excited for tomorrow, Vipassana Day, still I knew, it means something more difficult, but curiosity was in the air. I saw, my roommate was asleep. 


To be continued....!

Rest of the posts are in the links below:

Vipaasna meditation- part-I

Vipaasna meditation- part-II

Vipaasna meditation- part-IV 

 

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An idealist, a perfectionist... perhaps i am rebel, or don't fit in the materialistic thoughts and norms of the world, i don't see the reason, why ppl are fighting, why everyone is not at peace??
I m keen lover of art, Love sketching, experimenting in photography, sometime i get swayed to follow my passion for art for full time, but  then...still i have to make arrangements for my livelihood.

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