Today I decided to go against what I said previously and try using my meditation cell again. I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice because the old students were to have an interview in the main group hall. We all had these ‘interviews’ which basically involved them calling out an individual’s name one by one and then they take it in turns to walk to the front and sit on a tiny cushion directly in front of your designated teacher depending on your gender (women go to the female teacher, men to the male teacher). They would then whisper particular questions in your ear like ‘Are you able to feel sensations throughout the body?’ or ‘Are you able to sit without moving your legs?’ to which you reply with a nod and a smile or a distressed shake and glum face. They would then give you further teachings and advice and you would meditate directly in front of each other. This process would last around 2-5 minutes per person. After this you go back to your seat and continue on your own. I found these whispers rather distracting and was therefore motivated to try the cell again given that I was no longer needed in the main hall. If I was going to get distracted, I might as well get distracted by my own mind and body in my cell rather than others.
This time I did much better in my cell which was surprisingly for me to acknowledge. The throbbing pain I was receiving in my neck seemed to just disintegrate in the cell. Given that I was struggling this morning, it was reassuring to know that still after all these days my days, spirits and feelings towards the meditation technique could just as easily go to an amazing high as they could low.
I’m aware that there are only two REAL days left, including today, to really work hard and focus to achieve the best possible outcome. So I’m aware that I really do need to pull my finger out if I want to get these amazing mind blowing results I had previously imaged to receive.
Generally, I’m feeling mentally fresher, lighter and happier. Unfortunately I am lacking the motivation which is needed though. Time is taking its toll and I have small moments in which I question the effectiveness of this particular technique. Upon realising the analysing which I am doing each time, I quickly divert my mind as soon as possible. Doubting the practice was the last thing I should be doing in a situation like this. I strongly believe that the reason I was having certain uncertainties was because I had this beautiful Buddha styled imagine in my mind. I pictured sitting under a Bodhi Tree and having a bright light shining down upon me from the skies and glowing sensation within whilst a distant God like voice spoke the words ‘Well done Luana. You have reached enlightenment.’ Obviously this was a dramatic and absurd picture to be circling one’s mind, but I didn’t feel like I was anywhere from feeling such a strong state of mind.
This process was much lengthier and trickier than I imagined it to be. I expected it to get easier by now, and of course it is, but not as completely effortless as I anticipated it to become. But still I manage to find the strength and determination to tell myself ‘Think you can break me Vipassana? Pssh, you’re going to have to try harder than that!’
Sure enough, later my thoughts and feelings changed yet again. I felt equanimous… Pure… Happy… Balanced… Content. It was a delightful variation of feelings. And then it happened. I experienced the most peculiar sensation of all. It was as if a tingling sensation began in my heart and then slowly spread outwards towards the rest of my body. It was like the slowest bodily Mexican wave where I could physically feel each body part move with the tingling till it reached my fingertips, toes and top of my head. After a brief pause, the tingling then reversed itself enabling my body to contract accordingly until it reached the point of where it commenced. I was certain that throughout this occurrence, time stopped for me. I could no longer feel my beating heart, which my mind was getting so sharp and sensitive to be able to sense it constantly pumping. My breathing or need for breath momentarily vanished and even though my body was able to feel such sensations, it felt completely detached from my mind. I could see the sensation covering my body in a bright tingling glow. I felt like my body was completely alone. There was no one else surrounding me and there was no other physical contact with my body. It was as if my body was just floating in space.
Whether my mind chose to construct such an experience subconsciously to ensure that my belief and determination to follow through continued, I will never know. It seemed to be exactly as I hoped it to be, though having always ‘known’ full well that it was physically impossible to actually experience such. Or was it? Either way, I awoke from this moment to place myself back into the real world. My eyes opened and I could feel nothing physically or mentally for a good 5 seconds while my mind and body soaked up the experience of what had just happened. I then take in a deep breath as if it was my first and smile ecstatically with my beaming eyes. I look around excitedly looking for someone to say ‘Did you see that? Did you feel that too?’ but everyone was deep in their own meditation. Maybe it was just me. Maybe this was a taster of what had potential to arise if I were to follow through with this technique and reach that end goal of pure enlightenment.