It has been a week since I finished my Vipassana 10 day. The experience was very healing, with a lot of insight into my personal processes. Everything just made sense. Why I am here, my purpose, my gifts and ways I am intended to serve the world. I felt like I arrived there having been on my way for many years. I imagined myself taking a birds eye view of my path for the first time. On the ground level the steps had felt so discombobulated, but from up above I could finally see and appreciate the sequences. My puzzled mind finally connected the pieces, and I was able to understand and to love myself on a deep level, for the first time. I found moments of complete refuge, of thoughtless bliss, just existing. Though many more moments of fear, defeat, and one particular day what came out like a slide show of some of my lowest moments, courtesy of my subconscious. The lows came in waves, and I just had to let them come. Each time I felt closer to the work, to purifying my body and mind.
During the first few days the discomforts of sitting for hours eased, and usual distractions started to release their holds on my thoughts. I felt like a kid, racing to get a look at my future, this constant imagination of how this meditation work was going to help me make changes in my life. My future, a magical temptress, all I wanted was to catch site of all that she had in store. Though in doing so I sacrifice my presence, my grounding and get no closer to knowing what is to come.
The following days in the retreat were a dance, an awkward switching around from past memories to future dreams, and a slow building of my ability to just be in the present. Thinking of my past, and how much I have tried to heal and failed, brought up a lot of sadness. I was concerned about returning back to life and being right back into old rhythms. Without mindfulness, or this inner peace I had felt. This was similar to my resistance to return home from traveling. Worrying about the outer landscape and its affects on me. Though in one of my last deep meditations I decided to really sit with this fear, and try to understand it. Something kind of clicked on inside of me when I realized that I had no need to be afraid of what would happen anywhere else, home or anything. That I had all of me right there in that room, no piece of myself was left at home. I felt like a new suitcase, I could go anywhere and nowhere. It didn’t matter I finally had everything I needed.
Throughout the 10 days I felt creative energy flowing throughout my body. There was clarity in my ideas, though I could do nothing but observe. No way to write a thing down, I just had to be patient. I felt the stillness in my mind allow for my heart, and spirit to take the stage. Listening to these thoughts flowing from within my body, I felt a deep wisdom that was not mine alone. It was an inner understanding of how I was connected to every being and every thing. The pure and simple law of nature. I have always believed that human beings are inherently good, we just get lost sometimes. We get trapped in patterns, have cravings for the wrong things, and aversions to the right ones. Though it is never too late to find our way back to our true selves. No one else can do it for us, no higher being or material possession, we are the only ones capable of working to find our salvation.
One year ago I loaded my sailboat to leave the Virgin Islands and head back to the States. I remember seeing so many ways things could go, so many places I might end up and recognizing I may not like these places. I promised myself I would learn to be happy anywhere I ended up. I just didn’t know it was going to be back home, working and living in the neighborhoods of my childhood. I thought that happiness shouldn’t be about where I go, or even what I was doing but this wasn’t my reality. I had rejected that happiness was found in material things, or financial success. Though I was still not seeing that just because the vagabond lifestyle didn’t come with social capital, it still had me craving, running and in constant flux. These were problems within myself, not necessarily attributed to my situation at all. My happiness continues to grow with using and valuing what resources I have with me right now. I knew home was the most uncomfortable place for me to be, and that odd reality seemed to be something that I needed to deal with. I realized that I have built so many houses on an unstable foundation. When each time the houses crumbled I didn’t understand why. After sulking I would just try and rebuild. I am starting over again, this time I’m making the foundation concrete, where I can build the home of my lifetime. This metaphor came to me repeatedly during the course, and ironically so did the idea that it’s time for me to start literally building my home. So this summer I am going to start building a tiny home on a trailer, this project feels massive, and very fitting for me. Much more to come about this, in time.
I feel so blessed to have experienced the Vipassana technique. The real work is definitely after you leave, here at home, with so much to navigate and explore. Vipassana helped me to understand, and to recognize that I am capable of more than I ever imagined. Everyone’s experience is so unique, because we are all so different. Though most everyone seems to walk away with positive changes. I hope somewhere along the way you find yourself in a silent 10 day Vipassana retreat, though trust that it will be hard, awkward, and then incredible.