A very looong chat transcript ahead: no gossip or humour etc.. Its about the Vipassana meditation and the technique that i learnt recently.
A friend pinged to say hello today. and that she actually wanted to write a long email seeing the album i recently shared with her for she liked it much:) .. we told each other what we are upto these days and interestingly, she was interested in knowing more about the meditation technique.. The transcript is a part of our chat..
If you decide to read further, please note that its in my words and as per my understanding. Its ofcourse not the complete knowledge and I have only tried to explain it in simple words to someone who was eager to know. If there are any errors, I admit not being a certified expert and I am not preaching or advertising it here. I truely believe in the benefits of practicing it regularly and hence thought of putting it here for anyone interested to read.
me: and went for a 10 day meditation course
Friend: What do you do in the meditation?
me: its a technique
Friend: i always wonder
me: i used to wonder too
Friend: hmm.. technique of ???? pura bata naaaaa (please tell me the details)
me: hmm.. we first learnt and practised how to focus on the breathing
not trying to change the way we breath but just observe the breath
Friend: okies, then?
me: coming in and going out of the breath
me: 3 days we did that
full day (!!!!) ??
me: initially the mind keeps wandering here and there
lotsa emotions keep coming in mind
but u have to bring ur focus back to the nose and the beathing
gradually the mind becomes little calmer
and starts feeling the sensations around the nose
me: u know the whole body is made of cells and atoms
and every moment the cells are dying and new cells are being formed
Friend: i am reading u very attentively as someone is explaining such a thing to me for the 1st time
me: so at the microscopic and biomolecular level there are these changes and reactions happening all the time
Friend: yes, true
me: but we never feel anything happening in our body
i mean we can sense the heartbeat sometimes
and the external pain and miseries etc
we feel anger, hot, cold, happy, sad etc
because we want some things and we dont want some things, we feel sad when we dont get them
this is the reason we feel miserable
so in the meditation centre the main thing that was taught is 'everything is temporary' = 'nothing is permanent'
we see and experience it in our own body. by observing the respiration, to begin with
and dheery dheery we move to the top of head, our brain area
and then we move down gradually
we take our focus and mind from top of our head to the tip of our toes and try to observe if there are any sensations that we can feel
there are sensations all over the body but we dont feel them coz they are so microscopic in nature
me: and when u are sitting in the meditation pose on the ground doing this exercise for days, your body starts aching
the instruction from the teacher was - nothing is permanent
even this pain is temporary
and there is a reason we feel pain
its not coz our back is aching
there is a relation between the sensory organs,
the biochemical reactions happening in the body,
and the way we feel about them
is it makign any sense to u?
i am poor at explaining things
Friend: please, i m njoying the read,
go ahead. don’t stop pls
me:i thought u slept, so waited to see ur reaction
Friend: no re, pls continue
me: so, they say, when any of the sensory organs(eyes for sight, nose for smell, ears for sound, tongue for taste, skin for texture/touch and the mind/brain for emotions) get in touch with the objects that they react to, there are some sensations that arise
u get what i mean?
me: the first time when these sensations arose, our subconscious mind sent a signal to the brain about these sensations being pleasant or unpleasant
and thats how we feel good or bad about any of these things
when we see, we automatically get a feeling that it is a good sight or a bad sight
similarly when we hear, we know its a good sound or a noise
Friend: hmmm corrct
me: when we get in touch with some thing, we like the touch or hate it, like when we touch a cactus we will pull our hand away
and so on with the other sensory organs too
Friend: hmmmm, true
me: the next thing that happens is - we develop either craving or aversion to these feelings
i.e. if we like a smell, we say - WOW, that is so nice.. i like it, i want it
when we smell a gutterish stink, we say - shit, yuck, pls remove this stink from here or i will die
so we generate love and hatred for everything in the world
me: and suppose u dont like a smell and u are subjected to it everyday, you will feel life is such a misery for u.. right?
i am giving an example.. this holds for everything
hmm i am getting
me: so net net- there is a relation between the sensory organ - the sensation - the feeling - how we percieve that feeling - how we feel in life
the solution that we were told was - any thing that happens, happens for a moment
it will pass
it is temporary
nothing is permanent
Friend: actually so true
me: if we want to avoid feeling miserable, we should remain neutral to such feelings
which means, dont let your mind say WOW and neither let it say "Oh hell! its so bad"
remember that we were experiencing all this within our body in that ten day meditation exercise
so i am not talking about any external thing as of now
me: it is, as of now, all about our body and the objects in the near vicinity
and how we feel
so when we are sitting in the meditation posture
with eyes close
and moving our attention from top of the head to tip of the toes,
we stop for a few seconds at each body part to observe if we feel any sensation in that part of the body
initially we dont find anything
coz our mind is wandering
its not able to focus
me: but gradually we are able to feel things like, touch of the air on the skin, heat or cold, some itch, some tingling, some vibration, some pain, and stuff like that
we are told to try and remain neutral to all of them, equanimous
which mean - dont feel good when u get a pleasant sensations and dont feel sad when u get a painful sensation
Friend: hmmm... okies
me: and we see that each sensation comes and passes away in a moment
now there is a spiritual side to it
do u believe in life after birth?
me: and that human form is achieved after so many births?
Friend: not actuaaly this part
Friend: u do?
me: what do u think happens to ur soul after you die?
Friend: it get into other body
me: ok - human body again?
Friend: haaan.. aur kya?
wait lemme think what i am going to be telling u
u know i went a month back
got all charged up and enthu about it
coz i found the teachings at the camp so believable
it was pure logical, i liked it
me: but after i came back i have not practised meditation even once
am almost about to forget the details
me: so gud that u are listening, i am kind of revising it
u tell me at the end if you could understand it
ok now i will tell u further - hope u have time
Friend: I m really liking it
me: now, this meditation was being done by many different ppl
Friend: but giv me 15 mins brk
me: from all religions, all countries etc
need to finish lunch
me: ok, while u eat, i will keep typing and u can read later..
this one is called Vipassana MEditation
it was taught by lord Budha
the things that i told u till now might be common in some other meditation forms also
but the unique knowledge that lord budha gave was important and in a way the root cause kind of thing
see the day someone is born in the human form, they come in this world crying
crying is ~misery
and they start running towards death
u get my point?
nobody can stop time
the day u are born, ur journey towards death has started
and every second u get closer to death
and as u believe, after one dies, he or she takes birth in some other body or form and again the journey towards death starts
so its a vicious circle of life and death
and in between there are lotsa miseries
no denying that there are pleasant things also but when we dont get them at some time, we again feel misery
so lord budha(Siddhattha Gotama - that was his name) was in search of the ultimate truth
or the ultimate solution to these miseries
you know moksha?
from this circle of life and death
budha is not a name
budha means 'enlightement’
anyone who gets the knowledge and experience of that ulitmate truth or liberation, will be called budha
so lord budha was practising meditation
and was trying to find the solution to end this misery
what he said is - at the moment of our death, we might have a happy feeling or a sad feeling
the next birth and our level of miseries in next birth depends on that
to a large extent
thats maybe the reason we say that "so n so's aatma ko shanti nahi milegi coz they died seeing a suffering family"
"so n so died so peacefully and after seeing his or her family living happy around him, so they will find peace" etc..
its little difficult for me explain but i am trying
me: Lord Budha says, everytime we generate a feeling of craving or aversion to any object, lets call it a "SANKHARA" and that generated sankhara remains in our conscious or subconscious mind for ever
the next time we get that feeling, we will automatically react to it due to the already existing sankhara and feel good or bad
so in our lifetime, we are always accumulating these sankharas
the feeling of craving - positive sankhara
the feeling of rejection/aversion/hatred - negative sankhara
these sankharas are cause of misery
so we have to get rid of them
consider the mobile battery - to understand this better
lets say at the time of buying the cell, the battery was not charged
we get it home and plug it on to the power point
bit by bit the charge gets accumulated in the battery (just like the sankharas getting accumulated)
so the charge in the battery is full and we use the cell and its working fine
after some days, the battery is only 10% charged
i.e it has got discharged by 90%.. when we plug it again, the ramaining 10 % continues to remains there and the balance is also filled with charge
simialrly somewhere within us, we are charging ourselves up with these sankharas everytime we feel good or bad about anything
-- when we meditate and observe sensations and dont react to them and let them pass being neutral to them, we are in a way discharging the sankharas
we are not letting ourself feel good or bad about the sensations, so no new sankhara is being formed.
similarly when we dont react to the painful or pleasant sensations we get in our body, we are discharging the accumulated sankharas
its a long process
and the Budha achieved a state where he had gotten rid of all the accumulated sankharas
and he was so much in control of himself, his mind, his body that he was not letting a single new sankhara being formed
that was the state of liberation
they say that you feel like the whole body is a collection of vibrations
pleasant vibrations, at that state.
now coming back to we, humans
its not easy to attain liberation because remember the Lord had moved to monk/sainthood whereas we want to continue enjoying and living in this material world
and most of us dont even want that in life, ultimate liberation n stuff..
what we want is a happy content life
the way to achieve that is to start practicing meditation
its not about only the time when u sit and meditate
this is to be applied in life at all the times
keep reminding urself that nothing is permanent
dont let anything affect you to the state that u start feeling love or hatred for it
now if you have understood what i was saying all this while :), u might come up with a question
that, if we keep meditating and discharging the sankharas, there will be a day when we will have none of them left and that means we should attain liberation at that point.
--well, at this point i would add that our mind and body is like a machine that keeps working all the time
they generate sankharas when we are awake - which is what we are trying to control and may even succeed in doing so
but the mind and body also generate sankharas when we are asleep
try to remember having seen someone sleeping and a fly or a mosquito coming and buggin them
what do they do?
inspite of the deep sleep, their hand automatically mooves to shoo off the irritant
not only that, if the mosquito has bit them, there would be a sensation on the skin around the bite so their hand goes automatically there to scratch or tend to that part of the body
And every time we react, we are generating sankhara, so that is happening even when we are sleeping
therefore its important that we set aside some time in our daily routine to practice meditation to continue flushing out the sankharas
and there are ample of benefits of that
the mind works better
efficiency goes up
discipline sets in our life
and so on...
even though there is so much more to say
Friend: yups..i need to save this some where
not easy to digest all at one go.. but thanks dear
me: please send me a copy of it too
Friend: u explained it in a very easy manner
me: maybe you and TJ plan n go for a 10 day workshop when u can find time
Friend: i may com back with queries
me: wonderful course
must attend, i say.. for all who can take out time and find any interest in all that i said above
Friend: only prob is 10 days offf
me: free of cost
Friend: so untill i take a break its not possible..
me: and so full of benefits
Friend: free of cost??? impossible
me: 10 days means only one week chutti from work
their concept is that gyan cannot/should not be sold
ppl give daan(donation) at the end of the course
and that daan is used for the next course
its a wonderful concept - its unbelievable
Friend: ok.. not possible now
maybe sometime in future
Friend: bt surly
i m going to attend one
haaa for sure
me: you know in our group, there was a 4 month old pregnant brazilian lady of our age was also there
Friend: ohhh coool
me: she had come before also, this was her second time at the course
so u can believe what kind of experience it must have been for her in the first time to come second time especially for the baby
n then there were ppl who have done the course 6-7 times
this is there official site link, you can save that too
Friend: great, doing
me: and please send me the copy paste of this chat
thanks sweety! i will save it for reference
or maybe post it in the blog for other readers
Friend: lol .. sure dear
as guru dakshina? lol
me: ha ha. yes! the teacher mr S N Goenka asks us to give gurudakshina at the end
he says one must keep 5 last min of meditation sitting for wishing good to all
and in that "all" he will also get wishes form us
and that is the gurudakshina he wanted..