Vipassana Day 3: What happens if you break a Dhamma rule
It’s getting better. I was moving less and less, but my mind was still wild. I don’t know why, but weirdly some annoying thoughts started to appear and get stronger. The only thing I can do is to try my best to focus on the nostril area. I thought this could prevent me to have those thoughts and images, but it didn’t work. The thoughts and images were only getting stronger and more distracting. I knew these were the past already, but I could not control it at all.
If you really observe closely, you will find that our mind is definitely not under control. Goenkaji said that this is why we should practice Vipassana, so that our mind would stay at the moment, nurturing our compassion and maintaining perfect equanimity, so that happiness will eventually fill out life. Ok, I’d temporarily believe that.
During the noon break, I was alone in the room. I couldn’t help but kept thinking what I was going to do after the retreat. These thoughts are ten times stronger than usual. A lot of these thoughts had never been thought of before. I also tried to remember what I have been feeling these days. Maybe I should write down – I told myself – If I did not write down, these thoughts will stick in my head and I would not be able to focus on meditation any more.
I took out my beloved ballpoint pen and paper – which is strictly forbidden. Just jotting down several key words – yes, even the Dhamma rules said no – it wouldn’t matter much I thought. But almost in just a sec, I felt dizzy. I was not sure if the Dhamma caused it or just the hot weather. Maybe I was just thinking too much. I immediately put down the paper and pen.
In the afternoon, my mind was still as chaotic. It did not become peaceful at all now that I have jotted down some thoughts, which I thought would help to let go. New thoughts emerged, only more, if not any less. Now my mind started to conceive a thrilling sci-fi story…
The good news was that all of a sudden I could sit for one hour and not move a bit. My legs and knees were nevertheless hurting a lot, but I could try so hard to bear the pain. And I could walk flexibly after sitting, not like on the first day I could not even walk after sitting for a session.
Actually, I could walk like a breeze now – head high, chin up. It felt very good, very refreshing. This boosted my confidence. I was following what the teachers said: keep the spine straight, try best forcing it; if anywhere happens to hurt, observe it.
Also published on Medium.