My Vipassana Experience: Day 1-2 Reflections

PART II

Here is a summary of the discourse in my words and my reflections:

AWARENESS OF RESPIRATION, NOTHING BUT RESPIRATION.

NO MANTRAS.

Observing bare respiration, as it is, not regulating it, no word, or imagined forms (such as deities or Angels)

This concentration on respiration is the beginning of eradication of all metal defilements, purifying the mind, liberating from all misery.

When we have impure thoughts (using Goenka’s words) of anger, hatred, passion, fear – we become miserable. When something unwanted happens, we become tense. This happens over and over again, one on top of the other, overlooking our mental and physical structure, which is taken out on others around us as well.

This course help to learn the Art of Living; living peacefully and harmoniously within oneself and to generate peace and harmony for all others, how to live happily daily while progressing towards the highest happiness of a totally pure mind, a mind filled with love, compassion, joy at the success of others, with equanimity.

To learn the Art of Living as described above, firstly it is imperative to find the cause of disharmony within us. This technique helps you to examine your own mental and physical structure, where you have much attachment which brings about tensions and misery in your life. This technique is a truth realisation, self-realisation, investigating the reality of YOU or ME.

In order to better understand these disharmonies, one must directly experience it.

“Know thyself – from superficial, apparent, gross reality, to subtler realities, to the subtlest reality of mind and matter.”

Breathing is an amazing tool to explore this truth of ourselves. This technique develops your awareness through your breath, of not just your physical outer body, but all its parts, its functions, tis internal organs, cells of the body – which are changing at every moment. Innumerable biochemical and electromagnetic reactions are occurring constantly throughout the body, yet we are not constantly aware of them. The respiration on this day, builds up to act as a bridge from the known, to the unknown, as respiration is one function of the body that can be either conscious or unconscious, intentional or automatic.

Whilst observing my breath during this first day’s process, it was quite apparent how my thoughts affect my breath. As soon as I experienced anger, anxiety, etc., the breath would become abnormal, as in heavy and rapid.

The mind is like a wild animal it wanders all the time, to wild thoughts that result in wild breathing. This mostly stems from thought of the pat or anxiety about the future. The mind is constantly switching from past, present to future and we train our minds as to where we would like it to remain. Whether it is in the past or future. The present is seldom there until we train our mind to remain there. Where the mind is constantly trying to escape from present to a past or future that is unattainable, the wild mind becomes agitated and miserable.

Life can only be lived in the present.

We must learn to live in the present moment, by keeping our minds on a present reality.

Through this day 1 technique, the mind wandering is acknowledged, accepted and trained to break the old pattern through smiling.

Most important reflection for me from this first day:

-Persistence will pay off, with daily practice, despite impurities that arise, know that they will come to pass.

- Only I can do this for myself, no one else!

- Only I can liberate me.

At the end of this day, after the discourse, I was feeling a little less anxious about the next step, knowing that it is all leading to where I will need to be.

It was a challenge to get to sleep at the end of this night, again missing my family, but using the breathing (concentrating on my respiration), did help me to find balance for the night. Most nights I fell asleep by 10 pm  shortly after my nightly ritual of shower, and getting things ready for the next day. And then, as I lay down in my bed, I imagined myself sitting on my bed at home with my family, bidding them all good night, with words of encouragement and love for each of them.

A few words from the Pascale:

Please note that this blog entry is purely an outlet for me to share my experience. In no way, am I dictating how everyone’s experience will be. Everyone’s experience of this meditation process will be different, as well as the reflections that is gained from the experience. Please read this only as a story of my experience and perhaps a tool to help you make a decision to participate in this yourself but not as gospel of the experience. I hope you enjoy my story and thank you for taking the time out to read it :)

Source: S N GOENKA DISCOURSE SUMMARIES BOOKLET

…Coming soon: DAY 3-4

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