How was it to sit crosslegged for 100 hours?
We’ve heard it all before; “the power of the mind is so strong, blah blah blah”. But do we really understand it? I know I didn’t.
But after these 1oo hours of meditation I feel a much deeper understanding of the term. And also about the connection between our mind, our thoughts and our body.
In the beginning of the meditation and the ten days, my mind was full of thoughts. It jumped randomly from one thought to another. Sometimes I thought about decorating my apt and sometimes I thought about the purpose of life. Vain or meaningful. Whatever it was the mind kept wandering in two different directions; the past or the future. As the mind always does. A memory, or something that will happen in the future. Not what happens right now.
At the same time, in the first 3-4 days, my body was as restless as the mind, and in pain. So I changed the position all the time!! After the course when we could talk again, we learnt that everybody else did this too. But when I sometimes cheated and opened my eyes during the meditations I saw only these rock steady “Buddha’s” around me. It made me even more frustrated. I have always had difficulties sitting still in one position and I thought I was the only failure.
But around day 4 the mind got slowly emptier and that also helped my body to relax. Eventually on day 6 I sat crosslegged in one position, without moving an inch for at least an hour at the time for almost every hour we meditated together.
What is the technique?
The Vipassana meditation-technique makes you focus on your breath and on the sensations you have on your body. It makes you become aware of the sensations but also ignorant of them. For example: You feel and acknowledge the pain in your lower body when sitting crosslegged, and you know that. You can even concentrate on that pain but you still choose to ignore it. The same thing; you get a strong craving for chocolate and you’re aware of the sensation, but you ignore it. The sensations for craving or pain will eventually go away. So as the mind empties during the days in Vipassana, it was easier to feel the different sensations of the body. And once I recognized them, it was easier to say to myself “you feel pain on your right thigh right now, it’s prickling. But just ignore it, it will pass away.” And it always did. After a while the mind and the matter blended, and a feeling that the body dissolved arised… It was pretty freakin electrical.
How was it to get out?
We all cried. My Israeli roommate screamed. I was in a vacuum. No sound came out of my mouth for the first 15 minutes, even If I tried.
Did I break the silence?
I didn’t find it too hard to be silent at all. I actually quite enjoyed it (believe it or not guys). But a few times I broke the silence with my roommate. 1.) A squirrel was stuck in our bathroom. 2.) She asked me with signlanguage if she could borrow a beenie. I held it with my two hands, bowed down and said the word “pressent”. 3.) She asked me on the third day; “Are you ok?” I replied “good thanks”, and realized she must have thought something was wrong since I crawled up in bed after every meal. I just loved to let my body rest. What a treat!
And the two of us burst out in laughter in the meditation-hall once.
Yeah… Food, accomodation, the teaching and the facilities are all free. It works on a volunteer-base. They say something really beautiful; “Someone has already paid for you, but if you want to donate an amount for others to try you are welcome. However only after the course is finished, and if you have found it truly useful”. So you don’t have to give a single penny unless you really want.
Would I recommend it?
I guess I covered that part in part 1.