15 July, 2011

My Vipassana: Making Sense of the Chaos - 1

It’s just like this. The feeling. Like this blank page in front of me. With nothing on it. White and clean. This is the feeling you have. The feeling that no bad-boss can shake, no emotional-entanglements can endanger. The feeling which those constantly nagging fears, hopes and loves cannot touch at all. Imagine.

That’s what the 10 days at Vipassana revealed to me. That nothing is permanent. That impermanence is constant and that’s the absolute truth.

During my childhood, I grew up with a seeming order around me and an equal amount of chaos within me. As years went by, I created a world around me which I felt was right. With ideologies and rights. I shed all the shackles one by one. I pulled out the millions of strings pulling at my heart, each one taking a piece of my heart with it. By the end of it, I was de-shackled. But the shackles left an empty space, a void. A void of meaninglessness in my existence. In my actions. And in the world around me. Every day, I would contemplate of the reason of this meaningless existence where to live meant to kill the good. Was then, dying the answer? Suddenly I saw God as unimportant. Because the world without attachments wasn’t a happy world. I would go home everyday to an empty house with a nearly empty wallet and an equally empty soul. And those tears I shed in the darkness of my room, without a soul to hear my silent screams, threw me deeper into this abyss I had created.

If I have to sum-up the 10-days at Vipassana, I have three learnings: ‘impermanence’, ‘experiencing knowledge’ and ‘equilibrium in all situations’. These may not be new or novel ideas. We have been taught these since our childhood. We have heard the many priests preach these on many occasions. We have always been conditioned since childhood to create permanence. To create a house of brick and mortar. To create a bank balance, which will not deceive us. To create relations and a society which creates an illusion of permanence by creating an order of things. The houses we live in, the education we get, the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldnts’ we have to do in order to fall in this permanence. So that we don’t shatter this illusion.

In our heart of hearts, we all know that only one thing doesn’t change, and that’s change. That change is constant. But we never really accept this with all honesty. We see it, hear it and say it with a sort of resignation. Or as a matter of fact without wanting to understand the implications of change on our lives. Hence, we fall each time, when some situation changes beyond our wildest dreams or imagination. And we blame someone. The person responsible or god. As if we have been let down by someone. And we crave for permanence. We create barricades and walls all around us – so that we do not face a similar situation again. In the process, we don’t realise that even if the walls may not change, our definitions of the walls will. Because, we are changing every day.

Regarding the second learning mentioned above, we also know that knowledge is important, and experiencing knowledge is the absolute teacher. We know that our behaviour shouldn’t depend upon situations. It should be independent of all that. Which will only be possible if we have a strong sense of our selves. And that we should perform our duties and leave the rest to God.

Now, I know that these ideas are conditioning the mind – to behave in a manner – so that with constant reiteration, one day we would become what we practice. And with time, we learn to control our actions and words, but we are a muddle in our minds. Even though we haven’t hurt the other person with words or actions, we are screaming hatred within.

This sort of conflict with 'knowledge' and 'the self' screaming inside us, creates immeasurable chaos. Chaos which doesn’t make sense, which makes you want to do unimaginable things.

So, with a certain feeling of a reaching a destination, I registered for the Vipassana course. I didn’t budge with the discouragements or the denials of a holiday at work. Nothing else mattered then. But to go for those 10 days. And I had a feeling then, like I did about a decade ago, that the life as I knew would end right then.

Today, about a month later, I feel absolutely silent. In mind, in speech, in action. I do not feel involved in anything. And its not sadness.

2 comments:

  1. Very 'experiential'. Of everything u've written, this is undoubtedly and by far the best experience I could connect with.

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  2. I liked the few incomplete sentences in the 3rd paragraph.Deconstruction of grammar really helps to breathe at times.
    Good work. Really the post-modernist approach of a man inflicted with conflicts of civilized world- Reaching nowhere...Where's the need to reach anywhere?

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