Bee and I have just come from our 10 day Vipassana course in British Colombia. I am sitting here in a state of wonder, amazement, gratitude, and clarity. I sat for 10 days, all day, and engaged in a deep, deep surgical operation of the mind. I experienced pain, bliss, love, hate, anger, hostility, arousal, incessant persperation, craving, aversion, compassion, peace and truth. I worked through deep complexes that I didn’t realize were there, things I was covering up with surface level distractions like cigarettes and marijuana or other sensual pleasures.
To be in an environment with 20 other men and 20 women (segregated to reduce distraction and allow the individual to work) and we were required to have no communication with fellow students and minimal unless absolutely necessary interaction with management. What does this mean?
You are alone.
And alone you stay for 10 days. No words, no gestures, no physical contact, no eye contact. No communication. And I worked. And I worked. I worked continuously from 4:30 in the morning to 9 o clock at night. For 10 days I went through a roller coaster of wanting to run away, of breaking down and crying off in the forest where my tears wouldn’t disturb others trying to work, and a deep well of gratitude and joy as I broke down barriers of my consciousness and worked through and processed traumatic violent events and sexually traumatic events from my past.
I can say that I am healed but this is more true in an even less esoteric sense than you might think. I have found my way for myself. I no longer drink, although that has been for 3 months strong. I also no longer smoke tobacco or marijuana and take no intoxicants. I full of clarity. I do this for myself. Bee, my Love, has wanted me to do this for 9 months, although she never said so. She always gave me ample space, ample love, ample compassion to be able to be me and go through my own evolution. And I knew she needed it of me but I could not do it for her. I had to do it for myself. And for that I had to experience myself, learn myself, love myself.
To return to the statement of healing being more tangible than this mental and spiritual evolution I would like to explain how the technique of Vipassana meditation has healed me on a physical level. 3 years ago I injured my knee doing a full lotus position and ever since then I could not sit in meditation for longer than 20 minutes without the pain being so intense it was like that of a fire burning incessantly on and through my knee. I was always worried about causing more damage…more pain…more problems. Fear directed the course of my meditation and because of this my meditation had become less consistent, less intentive and for all practical purposes…less effective. Through the technique of Vipassana I learned how to observe my pain and no longer identify with it. I disassociate myself with what I view as myself and watch the pain with the clear understanding of anicca [anee-cha], which means change, and that everything is impermanent.
All things rise, stay for some time, then pass away.
This law is true and resonates through the intricate fibers of the entire universe that binds us together into a manifestation of cells and biochemicals to create this body that I exist within, for a time. As I sat and the pain in my knee grew over the first 5 days of the course I learned a simple concept… Pain is pain. Nothing more. It is not my pain, your pain, our pain, his pain, her pain. It simply is.
I am not Michael, sitting here with a hurting knee experiencing pain.
I am only observing.
This is a body. And there is pain there in this body. And I am observing it. And as I observed and abstained from reaction I learned the truth of the law, experienced it for myself. All things rise, stay for some time, then pass away. I watched as layers after layers of physical pain rose and existed, grew and fell in intensity but ultimately…passed away. My meditations begin to lengthen in duration. On the 6th day I sat my first hour without moving a muscle and with perfect posture. I came out of that hour and broke down crying, silently, in a room full of 40 silent meditators and I hugged myself. I felt my own hand against my face as if it were a hand of a lovers and not my own and in this moment I truly felt love for myself for the first time. I have always said I love myself, I have always believed it. On this day I felt it. The 7th day I had 5 separate sessions of 1 hour sittings without movement. On the 8th day it grew to 1hr 20min and then 1 hr 45 minutes. On the 9th day it grew to 2hr 15 min. On the 10th day, when Noble Silence had been broken, on the day that everyone was regenerating and no longer seriously meditating I sat for 2 hours and 30 minutes. I broke deep into myself. I have grown immensely in such a true way that it can only be experienced to happen. My resolve is the strongest it has ever been. My determination is the purest it has ever been. My strength of my Self resonates through me in such powerful vibrations that I can feel the Earth beneath my feet malleably accept my presence as I walk the path.
A 10 day course in Vipassana I would highly recommend. There are things I can say, such as you’ve read within this post, in hopes to inspire you to take action yourself. But you must know that you MUST take action yourself. The truth of this universe can only be experienced by you, nobody can tell you what it is. I can only show you the path in which I walk. It is up to you to take the first step.
May you all experience real happiness, real joy, real peace.