Vipassana Day 5: You Reap what you Sow (a 12-day Journal of my Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat Experience)
Whoever said Day 3 is the hardest, didn’t quite make it to Day 4. I woke up at 2 AM, needing to use the restroom. The restroom window is always open, and I’m constantly paranoid someone or something is watching me when I am in there. The paranoia continued when I returned to my room. I barely slept and finally woke up around 5:45 AM. Yeah, yeah...I am supposed to be up at 4 AM for morning meditation. Whatever. Tell my body about it.
Breakfast was really light, a little cereal, soy milk, and prunes (that don’t do anything for me). I so want to request rice for breakfast. There was a sign posted that our schedule would be changed for the day. There would be no meeting with the teacher (nooo), and we would be learning the Vipassana technique during our afternoon mediation which would be three hours. I got in a mile on the racetrack. I love watching the sunrise over the desert. At morning meditation, I suffered more than ever before. I nearly fell asleep between my legs and rocked myself to stay awake. We were STILL focusing on the area below the nostrils (anapana meditation) and I was just done with it. I told the manager after meditation about my slow-going to the bathroom. She offered to pick me up something from CVS, but I explained what I need is only sold online. She then offered me Fleet, which I took because beggars can’t be choosers. But, what’s Bisacodyl? No Google to look that up. I really dislike laxatives.
When I got back to the room, I took out my writing supplies and felt panicked. I was feeling super claustrophobic and wanted to be home. Before I could even get my thoughts straight, the manager knocked and barged into my room (can they even do that?!), and said the teacher would like to meet with me. GULP. The sign said she wasn’t meeting with anyone today?! I imagined just telling her I’m DONE. Seriously, done! I can’t do this. I imagined how I would have to wait around for my mom or an uber/lyft to pick me up. I wonder if the manager saw that I had writing material out, and what that would mean for me... Can we write? I still don’t know. Would they collect it? If so, would they read it? Would they be offended by what they would read? Then I remembered, I have the penmanship of a 6-year-old child or doctor? We will go with the latter. They won’t be able to read it either way.
In the meeting, I found out she, the teacher had clearly taken notes on me, and noticed that I suffered during the morning meditation. My subtle rocking, was apparently super distracting to those who had their eyes open (aka just her and the male teacher?). She was concerned because our meditation would be a total of three hours straight this afternoon. She said she would give me permission to take a 5-minute break if I felt the need to begin rocking again. She asked about my UTI and constipation. I guess the manager tells her everything? My writing! Gulp! She asked if all of the sounds are bothering me, and I responded it is better than it was yesterday. I explained that my butt is numb, and she recommended adding a cushion. After our meeting, I asked the manager if she had any recommendation on how to survive. She did not respond and proceeded into the teacher’s room. I panicked. She is only going to tattle tell about my contraband (is it even contraband? ahh!). Why didn’t I lock the damn door?! Also, good thing I didn’t have my watercolor painting set out (yes, I brought it with me).
I’m back in the room and going crazy. I figure they will kick me out before I can quit. I felt like absolute crap.
I go to lunch later than usual, and the manager is waiting outside and asks to speak with me. GULP. She hands me some Smooth Move tea bagsand asked that I repeat the question of what I asked earlier because she didn’t hear it. She said that learning Vipassana meditation this afternoon will make me feel better. I then got teary and said I don’t think I can do this, and she responded that I can. I really began crying out of relief, knowing she might not have seen anything, or simply didn’t say anything to the teacher. I am still safe in dhammaland. Lunch is ok. There were a not-so-edible tofu steak, mashed potatoes, and my favorite salad. I didn’t have much of an appetite anyway. After walking, I took a shower to calm me down, as I felt very overheated and anxious.
During the Vipassana technique, I didn’t move once. The extra cushion for the meditation really did me some good. Have I mentioned there is a gal here who doesn't sit on anything?! I think all of us are in silent awe (ha). Goenka talked us through the entire thing, observing our sensations on each part of the body, one by one. Much more exciting than just the nose. After that, it was time for tea. I got the best seat in the house, outside, facing the sunset. I keep taking mental notes of images I would like to watercolor later (not risking watercoloring while here). I went walking afterward, and it was just gorgeous. People seemed to be walking slower than usual in order to watch the sunset. I walked into the Extra Clothing Closet and picked out a warm jacket to borrow, because it’s getting colder in the mornings and at night, and picked up a blanket, in case it gets cold in my bed. The evening's meditation seemed a lot easier. With the Vipassana technique, we are expected to keep our eyes shut, to not move our extremities and keep a straight back the entire time.
The discourse was about how our intentions are everything. Good intentions make us feel good, and bad intentions make us feel bad. It’s that simple. If you plant a lime tree, you will have bitter fruit, versus a mango tree. It’s not our actions or our verbalizations, it’s about our thoughts. I can’t tell who the teacher is staring at, at the conclusion of our meditations. I once tried to smile at her, and it didn’t seem mutual, or she didn't see me. She was really focused. The final meditation seemed long because I was so tired. I never stay after to ask the teacher questions. I finally had a BM! Praise the bowel gods. Maybe, after going through the hardships of Day 4, my body found some much-needed relief.