Day 7 (22/04/2015)
Contrary to expectations, I did sleep late woke up at the clang of the bell with a heavy shoulder. It was as if a ton of bricks were kept on them and I wriggled under the weight. Besides my calf muscles were sore too due to cramps I experienced sometime in the course of the night. It was another rainy night but thankfully there was no power outage. The roof of our room was tiled and hence when it was hot it was unbearable with draughts of hot air making one feel oppressed while when it rained in the evening or at night, the tiles became cool and it was very pleasant. Despite the heavy rains, water logging and greenery around it was amazing that we were not tormented by mosquitoes.
Today’s meditation was a continuation of what we practised earlier – observe sensations objectively while moving one’s awareness from head to toe, part by part, piece by piece. The fact driven home was that the secret of success in Vipassana lay in the continuity of practice and determined focus. The two keys that will assist one in the path of Vipassana are awareness and equanimity. If you miss sensations, you miss the deepest recesses of your mind. Change and breaking the habit pattern must start there. The most important thing to remember is to never crave for or develop aversion for this sensation or that sensation. The deep surgical operation of the mind that happens during this time is sure to remove many deep seated complexes that have been in your mind for ages. With their removal one experiences liberation from sankharas and through that natural enlightenment. When all the gross, solidified sensations dissolve, one experiences only fine, subtle sensations.
By evening time we had more rains and the weather was so very pleasant. Meditating in such positive environs is any meditator’s dream. Evenings were pleasant and nights cool. But the rains also brought in thousands of termites that swarmed around lights. These pesky termite alates forced us to switch off the lights ahead of time. We were told to focus for a couple of minutes on areas where we felt grossness and this only increased the solidity I felt on the area of my shoulders. Though I knew it was some very persistent and stubborn sankharas getting eradicated, I admit the skeptic in me wondered – did I create a new pain for myself?? I have already had enough issues with my back and knees, and this one was most unwelcome. Once again the night was long and arduous as I kept tossing, turning and aching.
Day 8 (23/04/2015)
Waking up with a nagging pain is the worst way to begin one’s day. Though I did feel like running away from the course at times, the last couple of days have steeled my resolve. Notwithstanding the gross sensations and the pain experienced, I was keen to give Vipassana a fair trial. So I moved to the meditation hall with steadfastness and the conviction that Vipassana will do me good.
Today we had to move our awareness from head to toe, toe to head, and then sweep in both directions. After two sweeps we had to go part by part again. Wherever there were gross hardened sensations or blind hazy spots, we had to focus our awareness there for 1-2 minutes. This focus intermittently on my shoulder made the dull ache a throbbing pain by evening. Even while writhing in agony, I made earnest attempts at being aware with equanimity. As each wave of pain shot up, I told myself – “even this will pass away.” Aniccha. Aniccha. Aniccha. There are some very deep seated and deep rooted complexities that were getting eradicated through this numbing pain, I reasoned.
I had to apply Profenid again to ease my pain but I don’t think it really helped. I lay on the bed, listening to the chirping crickets, the croaking frogs, the occasional rumbles of thunder and finally at some point of time the song of cuckoo birds. The night thus saw me spending hours in wakefulness before sleep enveloped me.
(To be continued)