The Power of Breath & Silence, my 10 Day Meditation Experience {Day 7}

Yes, I love cartoon :)

Hope you have found my experiences helpful in your daily life.

I woke up feeling exhaustedly brightful. The feeling of liberation on day 6 it was exhausting and took a lot out of me but I was still happy. This morning’s meditation came with such ease; however, the monkey mind chatter didn’t want to shut down. The whole time I was meditating all I could think of was how easy this meditation is and I kept thinking that it’s too easy and I knew for certain I hadn’t moved a muscle.

 

Goodness, I was so right. When we came back from breakfast there was a small sheet of paper on my seat. We were given a cell -- yes, exactly as it sounds. But I liked to call it jail. I was excited because I kept hearing, “meditate on your cell for the old students”  -- old students being those who have done the retreat more than once. We then did a group meditation and after they announced for those who were appointed a cell to feel free to go and meditate there.

 

I proceeded to the Pagoda, where the facility manager was waiting for us by the door. She explained some minor details about our cells. During the explanation, there was a moment where an older lady thought “cell” literally meant that she could make a phone call to her family and friends. I couldn’t help but laugh. Then we proceeded inside the hallway to our assigned cell.

 

As I opened the door to my cell the first thing I said to myself in a whisper was ‘this is my worst nightmare’ because I am claustrophobic. Yes, I could have said no to meditate in a cell but I wanted the lessons and I was willing to try it while fighting the fear. I sat on my chair and prepped myself comfortably, switched the light off and I sat there.

  

Then I started panicking. It was hard to breathe; the air felt so thick that no matter how deep my inhales and exhales it seemed as though I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I began to cry and started to lose focus of why I was there, then I snapped out of it and I was able to meditate for an hour with the air still seeming thick. I was happy that I was able to make it and wondered why they only gave me one day in the Pagoda; clearly, I could meditate in the cell. This was my ego talking for sure.

  

After 45 minutes for lunch break, I went back to my cell. By this time I didn’t know what to think. I went anyway because I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity since I only had a day in the cell. As I sat on my chair I started thinking of food. All I’d been thinking of was how good it was that I must have been burning so many calories over the past 2 days from the heat my body was building.

  

I was thinking of a place my best friend Aiza took me and I was thinking I could ask her husband to go back with me and reminisce about her (if you didn’t know she’s the best friend I lost in the beginning of the year). Then I started crying so hard; I wanted to cry like a kid giving a tantrum but I couldn’t because the walls of the cell are so thin that everyone hears every small movement you make. I didn’t know how a room so dark could get any darker (remember in meditation your eyes are closed the whole time) but it did on my right side. There, I saw an image of my best friend with a smirk on her face telling me to “let go.” She said it to me three times and she disappeared

  

At this point, it was much much harder to focus. The things that were running through my head were insane. The funny thing is that I knew I wouldn’t remember a thing I thought of and I was right. The room was so intense that at the last minute because I couldn’t sit still any longer I moved and the bell went off. At that moment I thought, Yes! I made it! Then I went back to the other building for a group meditation followed by a solo session, for which I chose the meditation hall.

 

Then my last hour at the Pagoda came around. At this point, I was even hesitant to go but I sucked it up and went anyway. I was drained and had no focus. I moved around while I was meditating and at the last few minutes I decided to sit on the floor. I don’t know if it’s because there’s an opening at the bottom of the door but I was able to breathe with ease. Then the bell rang.

 

Lesson from Discourse:

When you have suppressed or repressed plenty of unresolved issues in your life you become angry and bitter. I never knew how much anger I had built up inside me this whole time. I’m familiar with anger but this was something totally different. I can’t explain it in words.

 

Goenka mentioned the five friends: faith, effort, awareness, concentration and wisdom. These five friends not only apply to the meditation technique but also to life itself. These five friends can also be the hindering terrain that will slow your progress.

 

Faith/Devotion/Confidence -- without confidence, doubts, and skepticism will ruin you.

Effort -- you must understand how you work in all angles. This will help you in your progress

Awareness -- is the reality of the present moment. You can’t be aware of the past, you can only recall it. You can’t be aware of the future but you can aspire for or fear it.

Concentration -- you must be free from all the cravings, imaginations, and aversions to have the right concentrations.

Wisdom -- not the wisdom that you learn from reading books or intellectual test but the wisdom that is within at the first-hand experience. Because what is true for you isn’t necessarily true for everyone else.

 

The divine in me honors the divine in you. I recognize my true essence in every soul I meet. I am you, You are me, and We are one. -Namaste