Profound transformation sounded nice, so I thought, ‘why not!’ My ego made profound transformation mean bliss, peace, serenity, perhaps even white lights and feelings of oneness —all that good stuff that they talk about in the spiritual books! But by day nine, when my mind was still screaming, ‘why are you doing this??? Think of all the things you could be doing if you were at Home! You should be working, doing doing doing, not sitting, sitting, sitting….” I went crying to the teacher, “It’s day nine and the meditation still isn’t working, my mind is louder than ever!” The teacher looked at me softly and said, “The meditation is working perfectly, you’re exactly where you need to be, recognize your craving for something different, your aversion to what it is, recognize that this is causing your suffering, not the actual circumstances in themselves….”
On day 10, when I could talk, and felt euphoric, I thought of the previous 9 nine days, of moments when I thought “If I have to sit another moment, I’ll go crazy!” But how still I sat, and how the craziness passed. I thought of all things I would have done if I had been at home when the inclings of craziness emerged, how I would have reached for the ice cream, the caffeine, the drugs, a lover or an intense workout, instead of just sitting with what was.
I come home feeling grounded, catching myself wanting to reach for outside influences, but having a deeper part of me remember that ’this to shall pass.’
There’s, of course, a lot of wisdom and complexity to the philosophy of Vipassana that doesn’t feel quite right for me to go into right now. What i’ve been sitting more with is if this a path I want to continue for my own spiritual growth, and while I feel deeply grateful for the past 10 days, I don’t know if i’ll ever be ready to call myself a Vipassana Meditator.
In January, I went of 5 day silent retreat with the amazing teacher, Adyashanti. In contrast to the rigid discipline and structure of Vipassana (waking up at 4am, meditating for 10 hours a day, following a very specific meditation technique, no exercise…) Adyashanti said, “if it serves you to meditate now, meditate, if it would serve you more to go for a walk, go for a walk…your deepest Self knows what’s best for you, learn to listen that voice.” Adyashanti didn’t teach a specific meditation technique, just told us to sit in silence, and tune deeply in…For me, this teaching was profound, as previously I had been grasping so strongly for a teacher and a technique that would lead me to my own Awakening. After meeting Adysashanti, I’ve learned to listen to myself.
And after 10 days of listening, so to speak, I see strongly that movement is a big part of my spiritual path. It is my path way to joy, to the calming of the mind, the feeling of the breath, the opening of the heart. It’s why I do the work that I do, movement has changed my life, and as the Vipassana teacher said, “when you find something that profoundly changes you, you can’t help but want to share it with others!”
What has profoundly changed your life? What gifts are you inspired to share with others?
Here’s to all of our unique, exciting and eclectic gifts!