Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vipassana: meditating for ten days with no talking

My 23 year old daughter wrote this for her family and friends to better understand her 2nd 10 days without talking in the last few years with a group of people. Vishara joined my daughter with many other people for this particular Vipassana 10 day session. My daughter said that as long as I linked this to:

Awake to Oneness - Home

That I could have her latest Vipassana experience here.

What is vipassana?
Vipassana is a meditation technique and is considered to be the pure teaching of Gautama Buddha. It is not associated with any religion, sect, dogma, rite or ritual. Anyone is capable of doing because it was designed for the common person. Even though there are many Buddhist religions this technique does not affiliate itself with any of them. It is a technique or rather a technology of the mind. By focusing on your unaltered breath you sharpen and calm your mind. The goal of this meditation is not to eradicate thoughts but to  come into equanymity with your thoughts and train your mind to be more aware.  After you sharpen your mind, you then start to focus on the sensations that are occurring on the surface/skin level of your body.  When you notice a particular sensation you learn to observe it with out any reaction. If you have an itch you observe it without reaction and notice there is a beginning middle and an end in its duration. It arises and passes away. You begin to notice that every sensation on or in your body is impermanent. Every sensation that is either positive or negative has a beginning middle and end. Everything is in a constant flux. The experience teaches you that you don’t have to react instantly to any sensation; the sensations you feel do not control you. By observing the sensations without instant reaction allows you really think before you act. Experiencing equanymity with the sensations on the body and your thoughts is incredibly freeing. No one is telling you to not react or think because it is bad and that you shouldn’t do it, they are just guiding you to observe yourself and learn from your personal experience. Through self-observation you learn at an experiential level rather than an intellectual level that change is constant, that nothing outside of yourself is causing you pain.  The simple act of craving anything and avoiding anything is the source of your pain.
I have had a low level of constant anxiousness/anxiety for quite a while now and I know that it is my reaction, my craving and aversion to things within and outside of me, that is the true cause of my discomfort. The biggest lesson/realization that I had during my sit was the observation of myself that my first reaction to everything in my life has been resistance and reaction. The lesson of consciously relaxing and surrendering with awareness when I recognize the first sign of tension and resistance before it leads to blind reaction. Whenever I had an anxious thought, I noticed that my body responded by tensing up. I noticed that if I tried to hold myself in a really firm position while meditating I would get up aching. I then tried to align my body comfortably and then relax as many muscles as I could and I found that after sitting for an hour or two I got up with very minimal discomfort and stiffness. The simpleness of the connection between the sensation(s) that is occurring in your body and the thoughts that you are having is tremendously liberating. I am now using this throughout my day. If I start having an emotional reaction to something I try to focus my awareness on where the emotion is showing up as a sensation in my body, instead of getting stuck in a looped conversation between my mind and my emotions trying to explain and intellectualize my reaction. When I observe equanimously the sensation in my body that is arising from my emotion or thought and just be with it, I have found that it releases much faster.  The less story we create for ourselves the better. Vipassana is really a technology. Anyone can do it. In order to practice it all you have to is breathe and feel sensations on your body. It is really that simple. It teaches you that our misery comes from craving a particular sensation or wanting to avoid or reject a sensation. You can actually get to the point where you can have a tremendous pain in your body and you can be observing it through equanymity without reaction, and you realize that it is just a sensation and that all sensations are not permanent; this too shall pass. Everything is arising and passing away at an incredible speed. If you go down to the atomic level scientists have found that every second all the atoms in our bodies arise and pass away 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. That is every second! So instead of intellectually understanding that everything is changing and that nothing is permanent you can now know from your own personal experience the truth of it. There is tremendous freedom and power in experiential truth. Vipassana is a technique/technology that helps guide us in developing our own personal truth of each moment experientially.

On a side note:
 I want to present a potential possibility for you to consider.
Quantum scientists have found that when they observe at the atomic level, the atoms respond to the expectation the scientists have of the outcome of the experiment. If it is true that we are made up of trillions of tiny atoms and that each of those atoms arise and pass away one trillion times in each second, why do we continue to feel pain in the same spot for long periods of time? Why does the pain still continue even though the atoms that were there when the pain started are no longer present? If atoms respond to our thoughts and expectations why don’t we have the ability to affect our bodies at the atomic level? This is a question for each one of us to consider and to ask and answer of ourselves.

end quote. I met Vishara and Qua at my daughter's birthday party last week in Oregon. They are really sincere and interesting people. Here is a Youtube site of their experience. I haven't seen this yet but here it is:

The Joining - an amazing true story - YouTube

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