Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pre Vipassana

I've signed up to do a 10 day silent meditation at the Ontario Vipassana Centre just outside of Barrie.  The meditation will be taking place from the 7-18th of November.
I'm expected to follow these rules:
  1. to abstain from killing any being;
  2. to abstain from stealing;
  3. to abstain from all sexual activity;
  4. to abstain from telling lies;
  5. to abstain from all intoxicants.
  1. to abstain from sensual entertainment and bodily decorations af
  2. to abstain from using high or luxurious beds.
I must maintain 'noble silence' which means silence of mind, body and speech except when talking to a teacher for clarification/interviews, one hour each day.  I can't play or listen to music, radios, etc. I also can't read or write which will probably be the hardest part.  I will want to write about everything I'm going through.
This guy keeps following me around!
Nara, Japan

Why am I doing this?
I was inspired, initially by one of my Otesha team mates last year.  She did a Vipassana and told us about one night around one of our ritual story-telling campfires. I've been feeling a desire to be alone for quite some time.  Instead, I keep being met with opportunity after opportunity to participate in intense group situations.  I guess I realized that I wouldn't get a chance to actually be alone to reflect on things unless I made a specific point of doing so. . .and this seemed to be a good way to do that.  I'm also intensely curious about what would happen in an environment where I am devoid of distractions.  The level of distraction available in everyday life, especially at the current time period, is arguably more than ever before.  Although, maybe people were just distracted by different things in the past.  I'm not sure.

I think there will probably be something like a withdrawal period where I am hoping for anything to distract myself.  I think I might feel some anxiety about not being able to write.  Sometimes I have really good ideas but when I finally get a chance to write them down, they have already evaporated back to wherever they came from in the first place.  I think I will also have difficulty staying focused and awake during the meditation.  I think I might have a serious desire to quit and leave. . .but I'm less sure about this one.  I almost never feel so uncomfortable in situations that I want to leave. . .and I have been in some pretty undesirable situations.  I guess I see an inherent benefit in sitting through things that are undesirable and the ability to learn more about yourself/grow your comfort zone by doing so. . .to a point at least.  There have also been times when I have reached my limit and feel with my entire being that it is time to move on.  I have not regretted doing so in any of those situations.
Daibutsu, Nara, Japan

In any case, I'm excited and nervous.  I'm expecting it to be extremely difficult and challenging. . .I'm also expecting to finish.  I don't know what will come out of it or what, if anything will change.  I will try to report back when I get back to internet land :)

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