Is spirituality for the aged, then ? Is it a retirement plan? As my Mama (maternal Uncle) had constantly suggested to me, it is not. It is a process for the youth too, to enable them to live a life with thoughtfulness. To learn how to control the emotional mind/brain with the help of other facilities available to us as humans. However, some amount of Translation is needed, Intellectualisation required, Rationalisation desired, and Encouragement to be regular. A TIRE system.
The youth want tools for self growth and don’t know where to find the standardised ones.
The need is to have a tool. The method is to move from inner growth to outer presentation.
This is a tool that using nothing beyond what we are born with – the framework of body, mind, especially our own ability to pay attention. This tool is universal and is meant for self help – A tool that everyone should have in the self care toolbox
During the early morning session we were given the last discourse of the session and were trained for Maitri Sabha. This was a technique for spreading your good vibes towards others through the inner force of compassion. The thought itself was good. सबका मंगल हो! May everyone find peace!
On the previous day we were allowed phone calls. I could only make a few. The task of speaking had suddenly become so special. Each word had to be meaningful and important. Each word was an effort and had to be chosen carefully. I called up my family and I also called up one of the friends who was responsible for persuading me to pursue vipassana. I told her about the sketch. She agreed with me That I should take it back with me.
But all the learning of ten days had also taken its effect. I could not claim ownership. I also saw that it was impermanent. My efforts to immortalise it would be wasteful. The transformation was to be inside. I had to take the steps towards it in real life and in real time- not just during the periods of sitting down for meditation.
As I packed my bag on the last day, I left the sketch in the sit-out in front of my single occupant room. And the seeds – I strew them around it. The seeds of enlightenment, hoping one of them would have found its way within me, to grow every day to take me further on my road each day.
I left the campus with equanimity at 7 am, found an autorickshaw easily. The autorickshaw crowd was well tuned with the Vipassana schedules. It took me just 5-10 minutes to reach the railway station. It felt strange to be going back into the crowd. My train was for Mumbai. At the station I met fellow travellers from the meditation camp who were on their way to Mumbai. We had a last exchange of ideas and concepts. We talked lightly over mundane matters.
I was satisfied with my experience here. I had arrived with a blank and open mind for the experience and was returning with a different perspective on life and people. My burden of past hurts and anguish is much much lighter. It’s as if a load was left behind. I don’t brood over several minor matters, as I used to previously.
My knowledge of the nervous system has also undergone an experiential change. It is getting reflected in the way I approach the problems in patients, the way I counsel them. Neuroscience books on functional Neuroanatomy state that the nervous system starts in sensation. Years ago, when I was reading the book by Per Brodal for my exams, I had had the distinct feeling that this stuff – where the author started with one single cell, the Neuron, and took me, page after page through the intricate structure called the brain – was beyond academics! It was a spiritual and sociological adventure – the study of the nervous system. After the glimpse into the meditation process of Vipassana I felt I had experienced that journey in a much up-close-and-personal way.
I have made changes in the SPLASH weekend workshop for self development that we conduct through our NGO .
I sit for the Process as far as possible for an hour a day. Each sitting adds further to my ability, though the first 10-15 minutes are spent in stabilising my mind.
The sensations, the feeling the process generates is close to Ecstasy as my cousins friend described to him – but only if you choose to look at it like that. One needs to go beyond that. Otherwise one can get stuck in a multitude of oxymorons, craving for detachment! It was this thought perhaps that made the Buddha smile gently!