7th day of a Vipassana Course

I have no words to start. Sitting from 2:30-3:30 in addithanna (no-movement) was a revelation today. Probably started on the dot or a minute or so late. I followed the instructions of Guruji to let my awareness travel from head to toe and back. Sometimes sweeping, sometimes slowly, part by part, as he said. I don’t know how many times I did this. Soon there was enough sensation all over the body not to need doing it any more. Then my focus shifted to my breathing. After a while, maybe a few minutes, maybe longer, time, space and body lost all meaning. There was no ‘I’, there was no body, there was no pain, there was no feeling. Only an awareness. An awareness of the self. There was nothing to call ‘I’. There was not a consciousness, something that had the stamp of the creator, there was only perfection. A question arose. If there is such perfection, why are we here? What need do we  have to go through life? What can be more perfect than the perfection made by the creator? Why are we here at all? What good can come out of being bound in a body with all its imperfections? The answer that arose, ‘we are here to find our soul’s perfections’; to discover them and bring them forward. They are hidden in the limitations of the body and the mind. And what of the imperfections? Yes, there are imperfections. As Guruji said, the imperfections we carry forward. These are what bring us down, which limits us. We have to chisel ourselves in the same way as a diamond has to be chiselled (jaise here ko tarashana hota hai, waise hi humein apne aap ko tarashana hai). Guruji expressed it better about gold in the furnace: the more it is heated, the more strong and pure it becomes. So that’s why we are here!

The bell rang for the session to finish. But I didn’t feel the need to get up, because I didn’t want to come back to the limitations of the body. But I followed the instructions. I got up, went out, had water, went to the loo, noted two things that I needed to do in Delhi and came back to the session.

Would I have to start all over again? But as soon as I sat, it was possible to be where I was. More questions arose. What is perfection? How does one find it? What are the imperfections? How does one work on them? How does the mundane life fit into it all? Answers that came were the same that I heard from Guruji and from my other teachers in this field, from reading The Mother. The perfections of the soul are equanimity, eternal joy, loving kindness, compassion, gratitude.  The imperfections of the soul are what pulls us down. The cravings, the greed, the malice, the ego, the “I” and all the things that pull us down. Our role in life is to be forever working on some thing within us to keep perfecting the diamond within. And when someone is going in the other direction, there isn’t any need for anger, violence, or anything negative. One only needs compassion. A loving hand.

Suddenly “I” seems a very wrong word. It encompasses the imperfections but not the perfections that lie within us. The ‘Self’ is better.

So for myself, what is this ‘self’ going to work on? And how? There is work needed on self-determination. Something that can be done with the help of running and swimming. There is work to be done on equanimity, developing compassion and extending a loving hand. The roles of a teacher, a parent and a spouse are ideal for this.

May the Self always be within reach. May the perfections overrule the imperfections.

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