Vipassana Day 2: Pulse in the nose.
4 a.m. again, I woke up before the gong striked. My body was heavy. Like yesterday, I had a dream super real. So when I woke up, I could not believe that I was in Yangon, at the Vipassana Joti Center. It’s too real that I was even scared. Every day at the center, I had dreams that are too real to be just dreams, that I could not set them apart from the reality. It was like space travel or time travel. Later I learned that quite some students had the same experience. The teacher also said it’s normal. As it progresses, I became more and more conscious and awake, that I don’t feel like sleeping, and I would not even feel tired.
Goenkaji said in the discourse that the second day and the sixth day are the hardest, while I think the fourth and eighth are. However, the second was not easy. I started to get really homesick. I was away from home a lot, but I never had miss home that much. Now at the retreat, we are not allowed to talk, and we are talking with ourselves silently all the time, thus our thoughts and emotion started to get really strong.
I began to doubt – could this Vipassana method really work? It’s too simple and natural. It seems to me that the Tibetan methods are more direct that if you keep repeating a mantra or visualizing something, you’d get some sort of reaction almost immediately. Vipassna was bringing me so much pain now and the lady next to me has still not stopped farting or burping. And I noticed some older ladies, who are also new students, could sit for the entire session not moving a bit. All those around me made me feel restless, even though I still had to sit. I keep changing my positions to relieve the pain.
I really wanted to go home! I asked myself what’s the point of being here? My mind was filled with the things I wanted to do now if not meditating. But I can do nothing now, besides meditation! I cannot even write down my thoughts. Probably the most precious thing is to pass by just like that. I really, really, really wanted to go home. I started to imagine, if I go home now, what’s the plan next: I could stay in Yangon for two days, then I should go up north to visit Bagan, then Laos or Cambodia – I could do a lot for 10 days! But I don’t know why, no matter how I imagined about leaving, deep inside my heart, I am determined to stay, to finish the 10-day course. Then, I just let my thoughts go wild, as long as I am sitting here for the rest of the days.
In the afternoon, I started to become more focused. I noticed the subtle changes in the nostril. The vein inside my nose began to pulse more intensely. The air going in and out were different, cold and warm. It’s always like that, just that my mind was more sensitive now to feel the difference. My other body parts were getting all different kinds of sensations as well. But as the teacher said, we should not give attention to anywhere else but the nostrial area.
The whole afternoon, my left face was pulsating, uncontrollable – obviously, it’s because of lack of electrolyte.
Also published on Medium.