Monday, February 1, 2010

My Vipassana Experience

It's February 1st already! I've been doing so many wonderful things this past month. I've been so present and fully engaged, time is flying by. Even though I am doing so much (traveling, taking classes and working), I don't feel busy, hectic or stressed. This is BIG for me! I attribute this change to huge evolution in my own body awareness.

One of the things I did before I started traveling was a 10 day Vipassana meditation. It was kinda like meditation boot camp...not for everyone but it was a good way to learn how to mediate in a condensed time period. Each day we sat and were guided how to meditate for about 9 hours and there was no communication between meditators. The first day felt like forever. It was quite an adjustment to not have any way to distract myself.

The whole experience was challenging to say the least. Many times I questioned whether the course was good for me or not because it was difficult to feel benefits. A number of times, I thought about leaving (I would tell myself: I could be doing so many more important things at home).

I am very happy I stayed for the entire 10 days. It was a big accomplishment; a huge act of self-love to prioritize spending that time with myself to learn such an important tool for life.

One of my biggest challenges during the course was the pain I felt in my body from sitting so much. The main things to learn from a course in Vipassana is awareness (of breath and body sensation) and being equanimous (neutral, not attatched). I had plenty of opportunities to practice being equanimous with my physical discomfort and my need to move in order to get more comfortable. It was amazing that my body trained me how to sit properly...the key is listening to how I feel!

One of my favorite times during the course was how much I felt when I focused my awareness on all the different parts of my body, part by part. I felt positively overwhelmed with awe and wonder of how amazing my body is and how much I could feel. I felt my skin, bones, blood, and such life-force, energy. I was fully and truly meeting beauty, my power, my love. I sobbed with pleasure, joy, and in celebration for myself and life as well as with sorrow for all the times I have neglected my body. Doing this kind of meditation is like doing a body dialogue.

After learning how to do this exercise in body awareness my body felt so limber and relaxed. It felt like I had a massage each day. Over the 10 days, I did not have any muscle aches or joint pains that I have been having since I got Lyme Disease three years ago. I was doing yoga (union) all day and it felt so good--challenging but good! I slept very well and had interesting dreams too.

As I thought it would be, the Vipasanna was a life-changing adventure. I have incorporated meditation into my life and am breathing deeper and living life even more fully than before. I have an increased capacity for being with people, having more fun, freedom, change, and growth. I stay in touch with myself and my body so there is no need for stress.

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