Monday, November 26, 2012

Post Vipassana

I'm back in the world of the speaking! (and writing!)
I have been for a week now.
Everything in my life (and possibly everyone's) seems to move so quickly and yet so slowly at the same time.  It seems like ages have passed and yet it has only been a week!
So here I am.  Here and now.
Sitting at my desk in Niagara Falls which is very unorganized and littered with hints of a billion small projects that I will likely never finish and a billion small memories that will never leave the storage rooms of my mind.
My room behind me, is even worse.
When coming home from anywhere I like to clean my room.  I always want to get rid of stuff and try to clear some of the clutter.
When I came home from the meditation, looking at my closet made me very confused.  I suddenly felt like nothing in my closet suited me.  None of the clothes represented who I was anymore.  But what did?
When we were driving home from the retreat, I remember continuing to observe the sensations in my body.  This had been one of the main practices we were working on for the entire 10 days.  Observe the sensations in your body with equanimity.  Do not react to painful or pleasant sensations, only observe them.
When we got to Toronto and saw cars upon cars upon cars of traffic, and construction after construction after construction of new condos I noticed unpleasant sensations.  I knew that I wasn't a big fan of cars or condos, but didn't realize that it was creating an unpleasant feeling in my body.
Generating negativity towards these earthly things that are in a constant state of change only produces misery in an individual.  It makes sense that over the course of my life, with all of the things I've done and put my energy in to, I would be upset about things that I see as destructive towards the environment.  But if it is at a point that it is constantly generating negativity within my body, it's probably not healthy in the long run (or even now).
Sometimes I feel so helpless when I look out at the world.  Very few people seem to be paying attention to what is going on outside of their own lives, even if it is changes within their own city or community.  I used to be the same, but the more I push my boundaries out, the more I can't help but look at the bigger picture.  I've been looking out for quite a while and I don't like the look of what I see.
But 'don't like' means I'm not maintaining equanimity.  I get confused around this point and after the retreat I was getting very emotionally, physically, mentally confused.  The night I got home, I also got sick (and had PMS it turns out!).  I was trying to observe my sensations and they were awful.  Worse than anything I'd experienced at the meditation.  I was trying to sit with them and dissect them but it wasn't like anything else I had experienced.  I started thinking that perhaps I hadn't dealt with all of my past 'Sankaras'.  From what I understand a 'Sankara' is essentially negative energy caused by hatred or clinging to a specific thought or event or form that manifest inside your body.  I'm pretty sure they come about when one forgets that everything is constantly changing and  thus hatred and clinging to any kind of sensation isn't sensible and will only result in suffering.
So I started thinking that perhaps that whole way that I view the world needed to be overturned and rethought.  This was very unsettling (obviously).  I know that it's important not to hold animosity or negativity for anyone or thing; at the base should be love and compassion or it's impossible to increase its presence in the world, where it is most needed.  But what does that mean for me?  Why am I feeling so sick?  What do I need to do differently?  How exactly should I be living or thinking instead?
These kinds of questions were flooding my thoughts and the discomfort from the sickness wasn't helping either.  I was only supposed to be observing the sensations and not thinking or intellectualizing but I couldn't help it.  I felt like I was going totally crazy (what defines crazy anyway?) and losing my grip on reality for a bit.
I don't think most people go through experiences like this, or perhaps they do. . .I'm not sure.  I'm still not totally sure how to reconcile that issue either, or if it was really just that I had eaten something bad that was reacting. I guess I can try to let go of my aversion towards certain things (environmental degradation, consumerism, racism, etc.), that doesn't mean accept it or contribute to it, but to try to have compassion for the perpetrators who must be very ignorant and selfish. . .and likely miserable as a result.  It can also help to accept that life is not permanent and though the earth and countless people are being treated very badly, and it hurts in a deep way, there were never any guarantees made that life would continue in any particular way.  This is real life. . .even if history extends, billions of years into the past, humans weren't there for all of it and may not be for some time into the future either.  Perhaps it's not worth holding on to the idea of our permanence as a species. . .
But it would be nice if we could all just get along for a little while and have an awesome time before we kill ourselves.

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