Liberation in a cell-experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn   Leave a comment

11th May2014 Dadar and Worli(260).JPG

We’re all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life

I’ve lived my entire life on my own terms. At an early age I was taught to make my decisions. And take responsibility of those decisions, in its aftermath. If I don’t want to live by the rules of the society, it’s my decision. Up until now I have been an unconventional person, living a life which does not even come to being a cliché. And that was my decision and the aftermath of the decision mine. Of course I was not born liked this. Situations made me like this.

That’s what my parents taught me. So if I say that I am a person of my own mind that would be accurate. And yet it was as far from the truth as it could be. Not that I pretended all along. I didn’t know it all along. That’s the blind spot of my life, until something changed

Now, having been an adult most of my life I asked my childhood friend “what have I achieved in life”. She had no answer or may be that was her answer. “Go for vipasana” I blindly agreed with the hope of magic and secretly hoping that I had the option to cancel last minute. The last minute cancellation never happened

So here I was at the center for what was a 10 day course. A lot of people thought I would be able to do it. A few thought I should come back in case I can’t handle it. I was advised questioned as to how I would stay silent for 10 days, live on vegetarian diet without an occasional drink or a book or newspaper, considering I do like my regular dose of current affairs and human interactions. Above all, the dilemma for others was, how would I live entirely detached? No one lives in your head and hence no one knows what you really are going through and what you are capable of. Truth is, “things to be done need to be done, not justified for they never will be” What I wanted was exactly what others thought I could not do. Leading an unconventional life is not simple. And I have my share of oscillations. At the point which I felt was a special low in my life I wanted to escape. I wanted to get away and see what something like vipasana could offer. Of course the search as for most of us is some peace, some awareness some calm and loads of magic. I needed magic!

I was ignorant to the world of vipassana, and did not even know how to meditate. But yes, I was willing to have something written on the blank canvas of my mind, even if it was just graffiti. I did want to know how something like viapsana and its teaching could help me improve the quality of my real practical life and would it really apply in the rough outside world, but I was ready to find out

Changing myself was like a Sisyphean, but I was not about to accept that

The prettiest part of this experience was in the unknown. As the days progressed and things began to unfurl, we slowly moved on various levels of the technique called meditation or vipassana. Starting simple moving on to a level which metamorphosis every pore of an individual

It was the moment of my clearest thought. It was liberation in one and a half feet by three feet cell with nothing but raw unpainted walls. As I sat there meditating for the allocated hour, I realised the existence of life somewhere far way via the chirping of birds. Staying in a city like Bombay, one tends to miss these nuances. As the hour progressed, something stirred in me. I was acutely aware of every sensation that I felt, emotionally and physically. I tried to shrug away the unknown feeling. Aspects of life and its learning became profound. Everything that I had heard and learnt all my life now showed me a dimension of vision I was missing. Since childhood I had issues with anger which stayed with me as I grew older. The minute I was not in a happy place my reaction to most things became anger and irritation. This was not reactive, since I was acutely aware; it was ultimately my Achilles heel. There is no witness so dreadful, no accuser as terrible as the conscience that dwells in the heart of every human- Polybiuus. I just did not know how to change this about me and what emotion I could turn to instead of anger. All along I was looking for a replacement of feeling and feeling responsible for it. However life was not only about making those decisions and facing the aftermath. It was about feeling every feeling and then living with it instead of battling and craving to feel another feel. We are addicted to certain feelings and are averse to a few. That is all that contributes to the unrest of our minds. In what seemed like an avalanche in my mind it felt as if every pore in my body was torn open and something extremely dark, polluted and heavy was exonerated, suddenly leaving me light as I had never felt. There was a sudden calm inside me I did not know existed. It was like an exorcism of the mind and body leaving behind calm in which there was an awareness of all senses. It was a tectonic shift within me. Everything was awake! That minute I knew I had changed forever

Accepting is as simple as it sounds

It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go and I was ready to let go

I was ready to take life as it was. Deal with the emotions as they were. I had realised that what lies in our past and what lies in our future is minuscule compared to what lies within us

On my return and back into my routine life I realised I was ready to let karma take some responsibility. I started to not only believe in what Wayne Dyer said but also imbibe it “How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours” and I did not want karma doing a full circle on me

Don’t run away from pain, walk through it

This journey was like the journey of life. Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living. I was scared and I was sad it ended but everything that I got in those days was worth a lifetime!

Nothing like present to turn a new leaf

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