Awareness, Equanimity, and Impermanence
The last 2 weeks have been an intense rollercoaster during the Vipassana retreat.
Waking up at 4 am.
10 hours of sitting meditation.
19-20 hours of fasting every day with only 2 meals a day, with the last meal at 11:30 am.
Walking nearly 7000 steps daily because of the huge campus.
6-7 hours of sleep.
And total silence or Arya Maun (where communication by speech, body gestures, and eye contact is prohibited) for 10 days.
Surprisingly, I never felt physically exhausted.
On the contrary, I was amazed at how well the body adapted after the initial discomfort of 2 days.
After that, it was mainly the challenge of focussing and dealing with thoughts during meditation.
While I am still processing the overall experience, here are some initial thoughts I want to share this week:
2 Main Insights from Vipassana Discourses
If I had to summarize the Vipassana practice, it is about two main things:
1. Awareness (also termed as ‘Pragya’)
Awareness of the thoughts and sensations that happen due to the interaction between the six senses (five senses + mind) and the environment.
2. Equanimity (also termed as ‘Samta’)
Maintaining equanimity towards those sensations, whether they feel good or bad.
On a day-to-day level, we develop cravings for good sensations and an aversion to bad ones.
In this process, we create deep-rooted samkaras.
This becomes the root of attachment and suffering.
Vipassana helps to realize the impermanent nature of those sensations and to get free from samkaras through awareness and equanimity.
It stresses heavily upon personal experience instead of intellectual discourse.
In 2014, when I went through Vipassana for the first time at the age of 22, I had missed many similar critical insights.
At that time, my main focus was to learn basics and to not run away after 4-5 days! 😀
So, what next?
I have decided to take a break from the full-time work for sometime.
During this time, my major intentions are to:
- improve physical and mental health;
- try the path of an independent consultant in content marketing and freelance writing;
- focus on writing and publishing more- newsletter, blogs, and Twitter
- experiment with a few other exciting ideas I have in my head
At the age of 30, this feels like a big, scary move, to be honest.
I don’t know where this path would lead me in the next 2-3 months, let alone a whole year.
The uncertainty is sometimes unsettling and gives rise to fear.
However, as long as I am aware and equanimous, I can experience their impermanent nature.
They come and go, just like everything in this world.
This will also change.
Until next time