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Vipassana Experience

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Juanathon11, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Juanathon11

    Juanathon11 New Member

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    I've been waiting to write about this experience for about a year now, in hopes that I could get an explanation and some advice from someone with Vipassana experience...so I hope you get the chance to respond. About a year and a half ago I left my job and started traveling around Latin America with the single goal of experiencing as much as possible and leaving my life open to whatever I encountered. On a train in Peru, I met an Australian couple that told me about their experience with Vipassana meditation in Brasil. Always up to try something different and a little crazy, and having a strong interest in meditation (and Buddhism), I decided it would be a perfect opportunity for me. All of my experiences up until this point with meditation had been very positive; meditating on love or kindness in Yoga class and meditating at my own free will in my room. I had felt like I had really gotten something out of those experiences. When I arrived to the meditation center in Vassouras, Brasil, I was excited to get started but also in a strange position in my life. At the time, my girlfriend had just left for the states after a 3-month disappointing struggle of a travel with her and I realized that my travels were coming to end (without having put thought into what I would do next). I knew the relationship was on its last straw, and that I wasn't in a good spot to start the course. I also thought though that it might be a good thing for me, in order to recognize my solitude or independence in a positive manner. As the layers of distractions pealed away over the first few days of meditation I started dropping into a deep depression/craziness. I remember feeling somewhat bi-polar by day 5 or 6 and having extreme bursts of elation amongst my depression. I woke myself up 3 nights in a row laughing hysterically from dreams that I was having (which had never happened to me before). I dreaded the break periods between meditations because my anxiety would take off when I wasn't in meditation, concentrating. I had a hard time sleeping at night unless I would practice meditation to keep my mind off of the anxiety. At the depths of my depression, I felt like I was almost split between good and evil and I was trying to defend myself from my head, which was spitting out thoughts from the darkest corners of my mind. I had experienced small bouts of depression before this, but have not necessarily had problems with it. In other words, the emotional experience was all new to me. I was thinking about leaving around day 7 or 8 (but I'm stubborn and never give up), and actually got to go talk to the instructor during lunch twice about not knowing if I was getting anything out of the course because I felt like I didn't know how to escape my own mental torture. He told me to take it easy, just keep meditating, and not wonder if I'm doing the meditation right or wrong. I made it through all 10 days and experienced some odd emotional sensations when finishing up the course. I remember the first day we were able to talk, I felt elated talking with some of the other people at the convention. As I continued talking with people my elation turned to ecstasy and I shared a moment with one old Brasilian guy just laughing for no reason at all (no words spoken). At this time I started to feel so good, I had to remove myself from the situation (bc it was intense). This was a feeling I had only felt before when using the drug ecstasy (which worried me a bit). It felt like a bunch of serotonin was being released all at once. The days after the meditation I felt pretty corky socially, but also extremely in tune and concentrated to everything (emotions, stimuli, etc...). From the extreme stress of the situation, I also got sick soon after I left. I came out of the experience not sure whether it was good or bad for me. I sure learned a lot about my mind and suffering and a lot of things that I don't want to try to put into words. I also have not been able to return to meditating though. Especially the Vipassana technique, and scanning my body gives me great difficulty probably because the negativity is associated with it now. Maybe you could shed light on some new positive meditation techniques I could use or a way I can try to break this association. I also have debated back and forth with others, and myself whether it is good or bad to be busy and distracted from your idle self. I did not find harmony in my idle self during those 10 days, and wonder whether it is possible for me personally to find harmony in such a way. Some people try to tell me that it is the only way to be happy if you keep yourself busy (putting your energy into something) and have something you are going after or trying to achieve. I don't want to believe this to be 100% true, but I feel most happy when I have something to put my energy into, to work on, and to create. I also see this as reaching for something that I don't currently have and a distraction from my true essence. The problem is that when I got the chance to experience my true essence I was at a blank slate phase of my life, where the things I had built up fell apart and I couldn't deal with the discomfort of being idle. At this point, a year later, I feel good and am working at something I am passionate about and credit that to a large part for my happiness. What do you think? Sorry for such a long thread, but this is the first time I have written or explained the experience in full. I welcome any comments or feedback.
     
  2. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    What you are going through and have gone through isn't that strange.

    We have all felt like we are being tortured by our mind at times.

    The answer comes from a small question in your post:
    And the answer is: No !
    It's impossible for you personally to find harmony in such a way.

    The harmony you experienced at the end of the course was like a Satori experience, a moment in which you were given a small peek into what life would be like when you attain enlightenment.

    The reason you fell back into your own ways is because you still take your thoughts and emotions serious, because hey, that's who you are right ?

    Or are you ?

    What if I told you that you are not your body, not your mind, and not your emotions ? That you are not a person at all, and thus it is impossible for you personally to find that harmony ?
     

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