Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A wish and effort to share!

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

 Friend:  okay..

 me:  3 days we did that

 Friend:  phir?

full day (!!!!) ??

 me:  initially the mind keeps wandering here and there

lotsa thoughts

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

 Friend:  wow

 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

 Friend:  ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 me:  and when u are sitting in the meditation pose on the ground doing this exercise for days, your body starts aching

the legs

the back


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?

 Friend:  trying

 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

 Friend:  hmm

 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

 Friend:  corrrect

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

 Friend:  hmmm

 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

straight back

folded legs

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

 Friend:  hmmm

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?

 Friend:  hmm

 me:  and that human form is achieved after so many births?

 Friend:  not actuaaly this part

 me:  ok

 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?

 me:  ok

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

 Friend:  hmmm

 me: but after i came back i have not practised meditation even once

am almost about to forget the details

 Friend:  bad 

 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

 Friend:  okies

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

concentration improves

efficiency goes up

discipline sets in our life

and so on...


gyan over

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

 me:  hmmm..

 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..

------ **-------



Anonymous said...

lets see .whos gonna read this :)

Lyddie said...

Interesting! Good to see that you started at least giving some 'fundas' to all of us... I always keep on asking you whether you have meditated or not... Now my question: Did you meditate today?

mindspace said...

Yes Lydia, I did!
and glad you read :) see what my husband said in the comment before yours? isn't he being mean to me? :(

amit said...

i love you liddie for pestering her ...she is NOT practising ATALLL ...

Lyddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crafty Shines said...

Tara! thanks you so much for sharing all this.
i have had a few sessions with a metaphysical institute member in office, where all of us had 6 sessions spread out in 1 year.
it helped me realise a lot of subconcious attachements and behavioural patterns that i wasn't aware of...the reason behind them. and it helped me consiously so away with the negative, making my relationships with ppl much better!

thankoooo so so much for sharing this Tara!

btw, u r wrong about there's no humour...that bit where u said "i thought u slept"
erm....that was a bit funny!

luvya! :D

Anonymous said...

ohhh... why did you write no gossip and no humour... and its all about meditation !!!

i cant make it up !!!! :( can i ?

mindspace said...

@Lydia: I changed the text color, since I pasted the content from word, it automatically came in this color, dint realize it wasnt friendly for the eye.. now u may read please:)

@Crafty: you are funny and sweet both.. love you too sweetheart :)

@Dhiren: hehe, i understand.. i was only joking when I forced you to come to this post.. you can choose to not subjecting yourself to it please.. :) you know we had lotsa angoor dose last evening.. Thanks to you.. i dont think i left a comment there..

Anonymous said...

you didnt ???

Its bad manners to read a post and not leave a comment...

learn some blogetiquettes... !

Anonymous said...

I left a comment even without reading.... bhagooooooooooooooooooooo