Day 7: Sankaras
I do not believe that the pain in my knees is an old sankara from this or a past life. I do not believe that by ignoring the pain I will be released from that hindrance and one step closer to enlightenment. I believe that my knees hurt because my physical body is not designed to sit perfectly still for hours at a time.
I also believe that sitting in perfect silence for ten days can be mentally helpful.
Over the course of the ten days my mind dug up a lot of memories. Good memories. Bad memories. Oddly unimportant memories. I remembered things I had done, things I had failed to do. I remembered conversations I’d had. Conversations with friends and family and strangers. And sometimes memories popped up that I did not like.
Everyone has distasteful memories: regret, guilt, sadness, embarrassment. There is a whole slew of emotions linked to our memories that most of us don’t want to feel. Normally when these sort of memories rear their head I squish them down. Immediately.
But that is not vipassana. So, for these ten days, when a negative reaction arose I simply let it run its course. I did just as the teachers said, I noticed the reaction. I felt the burning sensation on my cheeks. I was aware of the tightness in my chest. And I noticed when it left.
Not life-changing, but probably therapeutic.
Day 8: I Got This
Day eight is by far my best meditation day. I manage to meditate seriously for a full ten hours today. Seriously, ten hours of meditation. I never thought I could do that.
Nothing terribly exciting happens. There are no glowing balls of light, no visitations from a greater being. At one point I feel tingly all over, the sort of feeling you get when your foot falls asleep. Maybe my whole body fell asleep. I was sitting still for a really long time so I’m not ruling it out.
I go to bed excited for the next day of meditation.
Day 9: I Don’t Got This
I think I used up all of my meditation juices on day eight. On day nine I manage almost no serious meditation. I sit perfectly still, but my mind won’t focus. It has decided to rebel, wandering off in every direction.
In the end, though, I’ve still racked up more meditation hours during this one ten-day course than I have in my entire life up to this point. Even if I wasn’t able to meditate the entire time I still consider the course a success.
Also, I managed to stop biting my nails, at least for now.