‘Sun is rising, sun is setting… Rising, setting, again and again… Like life… But are we aware of time? How is passing? Sometimes pausing? The relativity of time? Imagine 11 days, 11 hours a day your’re sitting with a straight spine and cross-legged, watching your mind, feeling like a schizoid, no communication even no body language with 200 people around you including your roommate, just being on your own without touching your cellphone, eating 2 meals per day including the last one is 11am, wakinp up at 4am with a cold shower, going to sleep at 9pm with a knackered body and still mind, and even watching your mind in your dreams! And there are some moments that you can understand how worthy even 1 minute. And then, when the mind makes some problems, when you feel like you are exploding, fighting, exausting, at the end realizing how much garbage you stick out… Is it possible to go through and overcome all issues in 10 days that you accumulated in your lifetime? Of course not. But you know now where you are standing, not in the past, changed the chell, became new. At the moment I am not only excited that I made it despite two physical and 1 mental issues, but also because of my nephew’s early birth. When I was not around, I am grateful to the ones who messaged and supported me. Life is so beautiful. Appreciate the moment you live. Meditation can be your key, be aware of that. Now my ability to communicate is just this. Later see you again… This photo is my way to say bye to Myanmar…’
These are the words that come out immediately after completing the course I’ve been practicing with the Vipassana meditation technique that requires not talking, no communication in all sorts, less sleeping, less eating, less resting for 10 days…
These lines are being written when I was away from home for 11 months. In order to remind myself my center, I sometimes shut myself away. Otherwise being on the road makes me feel like the old robotic days that I repeated the same things every single day. In brief, I am ready for Vipassana course that first heard months and months ago in India.
So What is Vipassana Meditation Technique?
Vipassana is a meditation technique that its root based on Guatama Buddha which is 2500 years old. Vipassana, meaning self-observation, insight, is practiced by millions of people not only from Budist countries but also all around the world. How does it happen? It spreads throughout the word with www.dhamma.org :
Incredible, isn’t it? Dhamma Centers are also based on donations, so for 10 days (actually 11) the price for food and accomodation and the course is just up to you. But they require some regulations; male-female becomes seperate, no speaking including body language, no phone calls, no books¬ebooks… Actually you become naked metaphorically so that you can watch your being in a sterilised environment.
It may sound nice for some of you, and terrifying for the others. It sounded nice to me. I said I will stop doing everything and be with myself. Even though I spent most of the time in monastic places and doing intense sadhana (spiritual practice) for more than 1 year, still I forgot that different states of mind make different sounds. For example, when concsious mind says something, intellectual and egoic mind may say something different. So I was almost thinking to put ‘Schizophrenia is this’ as a title. Thankfully, the concsious mind exists and it became the reason that I could accomplish the course. In brief, it would be an article encouriging and also frightening you. So let’s begin:
Facing off the Facts!
The schedule below is serious, yes! Waking up at 4am feels like it’s in the middle of night. So many times, I woke up assuming that it’s morning time but it wasn’t. Cause going to sleep and waking up in the dark brings this doubt.
Vipassana Günlük ProgramIt’s insane to do meditation for 11 hours! Yes exact 11 hours don’t seem possible. I don’t know if anyone make it. It’s not possible to see people’s mind though. However, day by day the time with meditation is rising. But there are times that I just sat in silence, closed my eyes and spent time.
For sure there is a result of it; pain, PAIN! Another plane that you sit in pain and say no words. You try to feel your physical body but go beyond. Indeed, after a while your communication with the outside world finishes completely. So the mind is captured with only the body, impressions of the past and worries of the future. But I took many lessons from it:
My Vipassana Experience and Mind Games
On the 2nd day, something physical is coming up that I already tried to deal with in 2 ashrams. Nothing serious. But my mind asks this question to me ‘Whenever you start doing spiritual practice it happens. Maybe you are not ready yet? Or you have to solve this problem before it ends, it will chase you.’ Yes with this misery I spent 3 days and the 4th day I talked with the teacher in tears, asked for help. I made the issue too personal. When I think at the moment, the thing made me restless is just mind games. Yes, MIND GAMES. There is no issue to solve. You just need to ignore it, be determined and not identify yourself with that issue. Yet we are not body, now mind.
On the 5th day, I am waking up with determination. ANd then I experience amazing things. I satart feeling everything. It’s like my all sense organs, including the 6th sense are more developed now. My way of eating changes for example, the sense of taste is way better and I just eat the amount what I need5 -which is very new for me-. Cause my spirit fills up. Smell in the same way, it’s closer so to say…
Of course everything is not going well, even I experience enlightening things. When they bring us to the cells so that we can do meditation on our own on the 7th day, I feel like I can’t ignore the pain in my legs and my upper back. Although I have a call twice saying ‘don’t fall down’,my foot slips and I hit my lower back to the stairs. No words. My inner voice says, ‘it’s impermanent, the pain is impermanent’. Here are the fruits of 7 days work… Since I can’t sit on the floor now, they bring a chair for me and again my inner voice says ‘thank God’. How ironic? I can’t do most of the things, my motions are so limited, even if I don’t know how big is the issue, I am saying thank God. No pain in the legs and upper back now…
Let’s add something very personal too. Coincidentally (?), I meet a guy in Inle Lake going to Yangon for the same reason – I have many relationships starting coincidentally romantic and ending like a nightmare-. We both are surprised because of this coincidence. Destiny! This occasion makes us closer and we flirt. And of course this emotional thing occupy our minds during the course. Yes, male-female are sitting in different places. If we catch in the eye once or twice a day, which is very hard to understand from that distance, I count myself lucky. There is a lesson I need to learn from this experience. I know it in the beginning. I say ‘my karma is coming’:) It takes 9 days for me to learn my lesson. and in the end, I find that little spot in my mind. I accept that. And I have this awareness that I can use throughout my life. I am enjoying this little coincidence starting in Inle Lake, following in Yangon and ending in Bangkok and say good bye to a close friend after all. No pain:) Cause no expectation. My dreamer identity vanishes. Dreams bring expectations, expectations bring disappointments and disappointments make us unhappy, right? Living in the moment becomes the real living. Whatever the subject is without discrimination, without romanticizing. This is what I learn!
Yea I learned a lot in 10 days. And I sensed so many stuff in my dreams and I communicated with people in another plane. On the 11th day, when I turn on my phone, whatever I sensed in my dreams, I realize that they happened exactly the way I sensed. My nephew’s delivery becoming 3 weeks before we expected for instance… The most intense days of my life. The most beautiful, satisfied, interesting… The amazing part is this state continues and is fresh for a very long time after it.
By the way, the vice-versa may happen. If you don’t lessen the mind’s activity, it’s nothing but torturing yourself for 10 days. I realize this on the 10th day, when the let us talk. And I thank that there is a rule like this. Cause it seems like everybody is in tune with the spirit, but reality is not like that. When some of us open their mouth, I realize there is a possibility of disappointment. So if you wanna just check it one of the points of your bucketlist, please don’t intend to do that.
One more thing; don’t break the silence rule! Just for 10 days of your lifetime, be sincere. The results will be awesome, not a waste of time.
Mantras are also not allowed during the course but I wanna end this article with a mantra saying ‘may all the beings happy.
-LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU-
For other yoga and wellness posts: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/yoga-en
For Myanmar Travel Guide: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/travel-with-me/myanmar-en
For travel destinations: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/travel-with-me and for the history of Budism: 10 Incredible Buddha Statues – The History of Buddhism here.