First attempt to visit a high sphere of realm

Trip Start Oct 03, 2012
1
44
46
Trip End Apr 08, 2013


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Where I stayed
Thailand Vipassana Centre - Dhamma Kamala
What I did
A glance of my self

Flag of Thailand  , Prachin Buri,
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

“Vipassana is one of India's most ancient meditation techniques. Long lost to humanity, it was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. The word Vipassana means seeing things as they really are. It is the process of self- purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.
This truth-realization by direct experience is the process of purification. The
entire path (Dhamma) is a universal remedy for universal problems and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be freely practiced by everyone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and will prove equally beneficial to one and all.”
For more on Vipassana scroll towards the end of the script
I do not remember exactly how I came across Vipassana.
Doing some self-exploration was always on my agenda and I believe I must have
been researching the net to find something along the lines of meditation, a
spiritual experience of sort. I knew that this journey was a great
opportunity to do something like that. So I stumbled upon it on the internet
while I was planning my trip.

I started reading about the whole
experience, reading other participants’ reviews and experiences, trying to
understand what is this whole thing about.

10 consecutive days of intensive
meditation and no talking, no music, no smoking and only vegetarian food sounds
a bit extreme for someone like me who never meditated in his life and always
found it extremely difficult to concentrate in church liturgies more than 5
minutes, is a meat-lover and always found it hard to fast more than a week and
who is a smoker. And indeed it is extremely difficult – take my word for it. Or
go for it yourselves!

Reading some of the internet reviews of participants  did 
excite me in terms of what I could potentially experience but on the
same time it did worry me a bit
as well. There were a few participants who would
say that they would go a bit crazy and couldn't’t take it and quit.  The organisation does warn that people with mental issues
should not attend. Now, I don’t believe I have any mental issues other
than the ones most people have, like
some anxiety at times, my ups and downs and so forth.
Nevertheless it gives you some worries when you read these reviews and the
warnings.

If you take 30 seconds to step back
and consider how much self discipline is needed for those 10 days… it is
certainly a challenge.

Whatever the case for me the
promise of such a spiritual experience was too much to turn away from it.  So I went for it not being sure what to
expect other than a lot of mental hardship.



Some people would think that 10
days at an isolated resort within nature with food and shelter provided
would be a great and relaxing way to end up 7 months of constant travelling.
Although indeed the setting and the services provided by the people there were
excellent, this is not the case.
Not mentally for sure and not physically (at
least for me who suffers from lumbar pains and who never did
meditation or yoga and never practiced how to sit properly).

What makes it so difficult is that
you are going to be alone and faced with a huge uncontrollable force… your
mind and yourself! And there is no escape from it. Facing my self and my mind
was the hardest thing I had to do ever in my life. Although I managed to face
them  I did not fare that well against
them. But at least I made it through this battle, my first one.



What follows is an extract of a sort of diary of my experience:



Mind
unearths all kind of memories.

Thoughts
are breaking
away from
where they are shut and you try to drag them back. Prevent them from developing
further. You try to prevent them from being born. But it is impossible.

Mind
tricks
you like the devil.

Do
not realise when
you change thoughts.

I
get flashes of events from my
trip and life.

The
intriguing thing of this situations is that at you
wonder what your mind will come up next and think. It is like a mystery.

An untrained mind is like a
hyper-active monkey, untamed, jumping from one tree branch to another.



Other
things come into my mind. How should a better and just socio-economic system
be? It should be one where businesses and
companies, micro-entities and conglomerates, should provide a service to society,
and not the other way round, and in this course make a
fair profit.



Random
thoughts… Learn the
art of dying by learning the art of living.



Reach
a stage where we can control our reactions so that no misery, sadness, or joy
can affect us – they say to us.

But
feeling all these emotions is
what makes
us humans. But it
nevertheless does
makes sense what they say. If you manage to control and eradicate the negative feelings you will indeed do the same for
the positive feelings. One is indirectly related to the other. But if you do
eradicate them what are you left with? Where does this leave
you?



Isn’t
vanity
to want to reach a stage that we are not humans?



Root
of misery is graving.

Graving
for something and when we do not get it we get miserable.



Like
opening doors/windows and behind each there is a tv playing an incident from my life and
each is totally irrelevant to each other. But really… totally irrelevant!
Opening a new one without closing the previous one. And opening another one,
and another one! A jungle in full mode where the animals and
their shouts take the form of thoughts.





Day
1-3

Preparation
for Vipassana.

Day1
concentrate on breathing in and out from nostrils without mind wondering.



Day
2

The
same as day1.



Day3

Concentrate
on triangular area with base the upper lip.

Observe
sensations.

If
no sensations back to respiration until sensation if felt.



Day
4

From
night of day 3.

Concentrate
on smaller triangle.

Fighting
my own bad thoughts.

Getting
frustrated.



Day
5

From
head to toe examine and observe for sensations on every part of the body.

For
1 hour 3 times a day no change of posture during meditation.



Day
6

Again
from toe
to head.



Day
7

Follow
sensations simultaneously and uniformly over the
two vertical halves
(left
and right areas of the body).



Day
8

Meditate
all the time. Feel sensations all time uniformly.

If
have blind spots or with gross sensations, leave them and come back.

Work on them individually for a minute.

If
manage to do free flow with no such spots, after 2-3 sweepings, do individually
each spot again.



Day
9

Keep
doing the same thing. As if a bucket of water is let off on the top of your head
and the water flows over your whole body until no obstructions by blind spots.

Next,
sweep through the body but not just on the surface, try and move through the
body, from back side to the front and from right to left and vice versa.
Again coming back for blind
spots.



Day 10

….







Experienced
memories from almost all my life. Except of some very painful ones....
Maybe buried
too deep into the
unconscious.

Only
on day 11 during metapanna I
did...



I did experience a strong shake up with strong
heart pulses during a free flow. This was the highlight of my Vipassana meditation experience. I think it
happened in day 8. I wanted so much to feel it again. I tried but didn’t manage.



Lived
for 10 days like a Buddhist monk.



All
in all an interesting experience.

Would
I do it again?

Probably
not (that was my reaction after finishing
the course, but now after a year or so I really want to do it again and other spiritual
experiences as well).

Was
not a life changing experience (again, this was my reaction and thoughts
immediately after the completion of the course. Now
though, a year after, I think it may have been – at least my whole trip which
included this experience was a life changing and character forming experience. Didn’t realise it at that moment though).

Graving...
How ironic. Supposedly this method teaches you how
to stop graving
and avert sensations but every single person attending this course is graving
to be liberated from its own miseries...

Self
defeating purpose...?



Truth
of the matter is that no one of these servers would volunteer to serve unless
they were promised to become enlighten and no one of the people
attending the course would attend unless they were promised to become liberated
from their so called misery, at least not many. The same of course with Christians and
Muslims. Had they not being promised a place in
heavens, would they follow that code of conduct that they do? Most of them not.

People
who wan to live a proper descent and peaceful life stop going to courses and
stop volunteering for something in return. Just start living a moral life, be
compassionate to others, help them when in need and expect no return.

Why
do you have to feel like a free energy to start living a compassionate life???

You
do not have to be perfect, liberated or enlightened. Human is meant to be
imperfect. It is ok if we make mistakes as long as we recognize
them
and try to rectify them
by improving ourselves.  And
as soon as
everyone understands
that there won't be any animosity between men or misery.





Yes
it tells you and teaches you some things that are true and you experience them
when you practice but it does not mean these will make you happier and
liberated.

I
mean is like telling someone who has never been to the gym that if he
practices diligently and hard and proper he will be able in a months time to
lift a bar with 80 kg. and he does it and he realizes after a month that he can do it. Same
thing here but with the mind.



At
the end of the day you should see it as a training camp for the mind. A better
trained mind will change your
life
to the best but not as they claim to, I
believe.



People
were so eager to talk! As if thirsty and allowed to drink as much water as
possible.

Talking
indeed makes you less angry. If you do not talk and remain silent you only get
more angry.



Interesting
and hardcore course. Had
I
know from before what I know now about the whole experience I would go ahead
and do it.

First
couple of days are ok as you still try to realise what is happening. Enjoying the new
peaceful environment, enjoying the food, the discourse every night. Even the
meditations because
it is
something new.

Third
fourth and fifth days are really difficult. You start realising what
you got yourself into and that you still have so many days left!

I
also got frustrated and agitated those days probably because my withdrawal
symptoms from
lack of cigarettes-nicotine and meat were getting their toll on me.

Seventh
and eight days were probably the ones i experienced the top of the technic. But
day nine I got also very agitated. Probably because by
then the whole thing was taking its toll on me. My mind and body were getting
very very tired.





More info on Vipassana:



What Vipassana
is:

It is a technique that will eradicate
suffering.

It is a method of mental purification
which allows one to face life's tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way.

It is an art of living that one can use
to make positive contributions to society.



Vipassana meditation aims at the highest
spiritual goals of total liberation and full enlightenment. Vipassana
eliminates the three causes of all unhappiness: craving, aversion and
ignorance. With continued practice, the meditation releases the tensions
developed in everyday life, opening the knots tied by the old habit of reacting
in an unbalanced way to pleasant and unpleasant situations.



The Code of Discipline

The foundation of the practice is sīla —
moral conduct. Sīla provides a basis for the
development of samādhi — concentration of mind; and
purification of the mind is achieved through pa˝˝ā —
the wisdom of insight.

The Precepts

All who attend a Vipassana
course must conscientiously undertake the following five precepts for the
duration of the course:

to abstain from killing any being;

to abstain from stealing;

to abstain from all sexual activity;

to abstain from telling lies;

to abstain from all intoxicants.

There are three additional precepts which
old students (that is, those who have completed a course with S.N. Goenka
or one of his assistant teachers) are expected to follow during the course:

to abstain from eating after midday;

to abstain from sensual entertainment and
bodily decorations

to abstain from using high or luxurious
beds.

Old students will observe the sixth
precept by having tea without milk or fruit juice at the 5 p.m. break, whereas
new student may have tea with milk and some fruit. The teacher may excuse an
old student from observing this precept for health reasons. The seventh and
eighth precept will be observed by all.



Noble Silence

All students must observe Noble Silence
from the beginning of the course until the morning of the last full day. Noble
Silence means silence of body, speech, and mind. Any form of communication with
fellow student, whether by gestures, sign language, written notes, etc., is
prohibited.



Separation of Men and Women

Complete segregation of men and women is
to be maintained. Couples, married or otherwise, should not contact each other
in any way during the course. The same applies to friends, members of the same
family, etc.



Physical Contact

It is important that throughout the
course there be no physical contact whatsoever between persons of the same or
opposite sex.



Intoxicants and Drugs

No drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants
should be brought to the site; this also applies to tranquilizers, sleeping
pills, and all other sedatives. Those taking medicines or drugs on a doctor's
prescription should notify the teacher.



Tobacco

For the health and comfort of all
students, smoking, chewing tobacco, and taking snuff are not permitted at the
course.



Food

It is not possible to satisfy the special
food preferences and requirements of all the meditators. Students are therefore
kindly requested to make do with the simple vegetarian meals provided. The
course management endeavors to prepare a balanced, wholesome menu suitable for
meditation.



Clothing

Dress should be simple, modest, and
comfortable. Tight, transparent, revealing, or otherwise striking clothing
(such as shorts, short skirts, tights and leggings, sleeveless or skimpy tops)
should not be worn.



Outside Contacts

Students must remain within the course
boundaries throughout the course. They may leave only with the specific consent
of the teacher. No outside communications is allowed before the course ends.
This includes letters, phone calls and visitors. Cell phones, pagers, and other
electronic devices must be deposited with the management until the course ends.
In case of an emergency, a friend or relative may contact the management.



Music, Reading and Writing

The playing of musical instruments,
radios, etc. is not permitted. No reading or writing materials should be
brought to the course. Students should not distract themselves by taking notes.
The restriction on reading and writing is to emphasize the strictly practical
nature of this meditation.



Course Finances

According to the tradition of pure Vipassana,
courses are run solely on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only from
those who have completed at least one ten-day course with S.N. Goenka
or one of his assisting teachers. Someone taking the course for the first time
may give a donation on the last day of the course or any time thereafter.

In this way course are supported by those
who have realized for themselves the benefits of the practice. Wishing to share
these benefits with others, one gives a donation according to one's means and
volition. Such donations are the only source of funding for course in this
tradition around the world. There is no wealthy foundation or individual
sponsoring them. Neither the teachers nor the organizers receive any kind of
payment for their service. Thus, the spread of Vipassana
is carried out with purity of purpose, free from any commercialism.



THE COURSE TIMETABLE

The following timetable for the
course has been designed to maintain the continuity of practice. For best
results students are advised to follow it as closely as possible.

4:00
am Morning wake-up bell

4:30-6:30 am Meditate in the
hall or in your room

6:30-8:00 am Breakfast break

8:00-9:00 am Group meditation
in the hall

9:00-11:00 am Meditate in the
hall or in your room according to the teacher's instructions

11:00-12:00 noon Lunch
break

12noon-1:00 pm Rest and
interviews with the teacher

1:00-2:30 pm Meditate in the
hall or in your room

2:30-3:30 pm Group meditation
in the hall

3:30-5:00 pm Meditate in the
hall or in your own room according to the teacher's instructions

5:00-6:00 pm Tea break

6:00-7:00 pm Group meditation
in the hall

7:00-8:15 pm Teacher's
Discourse in the hall

8:15-9:00 pm Group meditation
in the hall

9:00-9:30 pm Question time in
the hall

9:30 pm Retire to your own
room--Lights out  

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