4 am, Wake up bell. I feel a bit lighter. I know I am entering the second phase of Vipassana. My roomates stays in her bed. I am tempted to wake her up. After a shower and a liter of water, she is still in her bed. I am wandering if she is ok, but she remains immobile. I go towards the meditation hall in advance. As if I will finish quicker by starting sooner. It is 4.20 am. I am waiting for the others to join me in the hall.
4.30 am. Meditation starts. I am full of good will. This time I can breathe properly and feel my breath on my upper lips. The more I breathe, the more I am able to feel the air entering my throat, I am very curious about this new feeling. it feels really good. As a smoker, the only sensations I used to feel in my throat the last few years are burning sensations, disgust, suffocation and tightness. I realize not only I don’t really miss smoking but it feels really good to fill my throat with air, clean air. If I am not able to work on my mind, at least I have the feeling to heal my body here. I am now able to feel the sensation of the air inside my lunge. The more I breathe, the more I can discover the capacity of my lunge. The more air enter my body, the better I feel. It is like a game. I play with my lunge and try to feel how deep the air is entering my lunge. I feel curious and excited about it. It is the first time in a while that I can actually feel air inside my lunge. Maybe because I am paying attention to it. I know I am not meditating, but I don’t care. These new sensation are way to precious not to focus on them. I want to remember them for the rest of my life and never smoke again. But as soon as this thought emerge, my mind starts to wake up quickly. I have a heavy feeling inside my heart, I cannot identify what is going on. I start wandering if I will remain non smoker after Vipassana, if I will be strong enough. Many memories of my past failures come into my mind. I feel anxious. I do my best to focus again on this wonderful feeling of breathing for the rest of the meditation.
6.30 am. Breakfast time. I am hopping to have fruits but it is rice again. It has been 5 days that I haven’t been to the bathroom. I take just a little amount of rice, and drink many teas. I have a weird feeling into my stomach. Better to go to bed and sleep until the next meditation. When I enter my room, my roommate is still in her bed. She hasn’t moved. I hope she is fine. I would like to talk to her and give her warm words but I resign.
8am. I wake up suddenly. I again did a lot of heavy dreams. This nap feels like a whole night, what a weird feeling. I go out of the bed to go to the meditation hall. My roommate doesn’t seem to be ok, she is lying on her back and watching the ceiling. I am troubled. Is she having a worser time than me here ? Apparently yes, I am afraid she gives up. I let her facing the ceiling and go to the meditation hall. Inside, Goenka starts giving his instructions. I listen to them carefully even if I know I am not able to do be here yet. But still I would like to try this time. Goenka insists on the fact to remain immobile. “If a pain arises, don’t react to it. Remain equanimous and observe the pain until it disappear”. I remember my back pain and I know he is right now. But staying in the same position for 2 hours seems to be impossible for me. I have to move every 10 to 15 min, and I have to fight against the feeling of falling asleep / being bored. It has been 6 days now and I am not able to meditate correctly for 2 hours in a raw, nor use Vipassana technic. I feel sad and disappointed when Goenka’s word resound in my head “Don’t multiply your misery by reacting to your thoughts. No cravings, no aversion, remain equanimous while observing your sensations.”. I won’t multiply my misery Goenka, I will try again and again, until I get it. I am here for that. I want to be brave, I am fed up complaining and being a victim of my mind. It has to stop. When the bell rings, I am again lost in my thoughts. Never mind, I am happy this meditation comes to the end. I come back quickly to my room to check my roommate, she is still in her bed and doesn’t seem to come to the next meditation…
10 am. Going towards the meditation hall, I enjoy the feeling of being able to walk and to see. I notice few flowers who survived in this arid climate. I have respect for them. They are survivors. In front of the meditation hall, other girls are hugging trees. A judgmental thought comes into my mind. I feel ashamed, I am not here to judge anyone appart from myself. But I can’t hep it. It is weird for me, even if I know trees have a huge energy. When I sit down in the meditation hall, I have a firm intention to remain in the same sitting position for the whole meditation. But after 30 min, it feels like a torture. I am bored and it is way too painful. I wish I could meditate properly. Looking around me, I notice many people left the hall. It seems to be hard for all of us. I feel a bit better. And again, I feel ashamed that I have to compare myself to others. I should stop doing this. Here in Vipassana and more generally too. This is not a competition, I know it. I do this for myself, so why this urge of comparing myself to others ? Bad habits. I remember I have not always been like this. When I was 20, I didn’t care about what other people think about me, and I was feeling free. People used to admire me for this quality. I remember being proud of myself and detached of many things. I was really strong but I changed a lot through the years. I became very sensitive to how people perceive me. What happened to me ? I can’t remember… When the bell rings, I realize not only I moved my position many times, but also I spent the whole meditation thinking. I feel disappointed.
11.30 am. Lunch time, rice time, no cat. I want a hug. After lunch I don’t want to come back to my room and I don’t want to sleep. I know I should sleep as afternoon mediation is demanding but I need to be outside. I lie down on a bank and let the sun spread on my entire body. I feel the burning touch of the sun all over my body. When it is time to go to the meditation hall, my head is heavy. I feel like a zombie again. My roommate is out of her bed. She seems to be willing to continue. I am relieved for her. Walking towards the meditation hall, I am fascinated by white butterflies flying and dancing right in front of me. I am amazed by their beauty. I wish I could kiss them and fly with them happily, freely and beautifully.
1 pm. Goenka sings the usual mantra. It goes straight into my heart. I am very sensitive and I can feel every syllable of the mantra penetrating my soul. What a mantra! “Focus your attention to the top of you head, scan your entire body from top to bottom, bottom to top. ” I wish I can do it too. But no cravings, the threat of multiplying my misery rings out loudly in my head. I will just do my best. My head is heavy, I don’t really feel like meditating. I regret the hour under the sun, I already feel thirsty. I prefer to focus my attention on the touch of my breath on my upper lips. I accept to be where I am. A beginner. I cannot do better, and it makes no sense to keep on judging myself. 2 hours later, I realize I had a good meditation this time. I know I spent more time focused on my breath that on my thought, and I enjoyed the breathing sensations. I feel proud of myself. What a relief ! I had to wait for 6 days to be able to have a correct meditation. I am still not able to practice Vipassana technic but I don’t care. I did a progress and this is what counts.
3 pm. I would like to try Vipassana technic. I know it is too early but I am impatient to catch my delay. But after 20 min, I am not able to feel anything on the top of my head and my attention is taken by too many thoughts. I am again dreaming about chocolate. It is too early to start Vipassana technic and I knew it. Now I have troubles to find again the sensation of my breath on my upper lips and inside my lunge. My mind is agitated. It is a nightmare. Only 40 minutes has passed, and I change my sitting position many times. I am very tired and the heat makes it really hard. After an hour, I decide to leave for the second time the meditation hall. I want to drink water and have some “fresh” air. I feel very lonely, bored and sad. What a shame. I am waisting this precious opportunity to exercice my mind and get purer. What a shame ! I feel very alone and lost. Outside the hall, I realize I am staring at a tree. I am tempted to hug it. I look around. No one is here. Let’s try it. I come closer to the tree. Many ants are running on the trunk. Maybe I shouldn’t. I come back inside the meditation hall and try to come back to meditation while waiting for Goenka to end this painful time.
5 pm. Youhou Beans time. This time, cups are already filled with beans, and I know there will be one per person again. Why do they do that seriously ? Women come little by little to take their beans. There are 2 left. I notice that one women took 2 cup and I feel angry against her. How can she dare ? Suddenly I want to laugh on myself. Am I jealous because of beans ? I am tempted to take one of the 2 remaining cup of beans but instead I take just 3 spoons in my empty cup. I want to act the good way, I am serious about it. This is a temptation and I will resist. I need to learn to control myself, and I truly want to become a better person. It starts with small little thinks like sharing the rest of the beans with others right ? I eat the 3 spoons very slowly and appreciate them as if it was my last meal. It feels good to take my time and it is more tasteful than ever. It is very powerful. When I leave the dinning hall, I feel really proud of me even if I know it was just beans. I missed this feeling of being proud of me. Walking towards my room, I feel joy again, I enjoy the touch of the sun on my face, I am smiling. I lie down and fall asleep very profoundly. When the bell rings, it feels like a whole night again and I don’t feel tir. I am surprised to realize how powerful can be a 20 min rest.
6pm. I know there is only one hour and a half left before the evening teaching. It gives me strength to be patient. This time I decide to give myself only one goal. Remain in the same position for a whole meditation. I sit down and embrase my knees with my arm. I know it is not a standard sitting position but I feel I can hold the position only like that. I start focusing on my breath and breathe naturally. After a while I feel the pain starting to tickle me. I am tempted to move but I won’t. Pain is more and more horrible but I don’t move. Suddenly, before I realize it, I change my position very quickly. It happened before I could realize what I was doing. I decide not to blame myself. I am very glad I could stay quite long. I will do better next time.
7.30 pm. I am almost dancing walking to the meditation hall to hear the teaching. My favorite part of the day. Even more than beans time ! Listening to Goenka’s teachings, I am fascinated. I know why I am here, and I know Vipassana is changing me very deeply, I already can feel it. I feel very grateful to be here. Time passes very quickly, and I fill myself with knowledge and truth. I am not the type of person who is impressed by Gurus or Movie stars, or whoever. But Goenka is different to my eyes. What he says is simple, authentic, logical, true, powerful, full of love and beautiful. I am very touched. I remember my childhood convictions. It is very close to what he says. How did I forget all of this when I grew up ? Goenka’s words resonates deeply inside me. I can feel he is waking me up. No one did that before. It is so strong that I am about to cry. But from joy this time. Thank you so much Goenka. At the end of the teaching, I feel very grateful and very lucky for being here.
9 pm. Last meditation of the day, I feel peaceful. I remain immobile for 30 min. I can’t wait to be tomorrow and practice again. I feel a new kind of strength inside me. It has been ages I haven’t feel this.
9.30 pm. Inside my room, my roommates is cleaning the room. Suddenly, she starts screaming very loud. I am panicked. What is going on. She starts throwing out the clothes form her hand and run to the door. Now she start to hit her head on the door. I feel completely panicked. Did she go crazy? What is going on ! She starts talking to me “I know I am not supposed to talk but I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.” In 5 sec, I am wondering if I should talk too, and break my silence to help her. Of course I will, I can’t let her in such a distress.
•Me “What is going on?”
•Her “There is a huge spider in my backpack. It is HUGE. It is too much for me, It is too much, I can’t, I can’t. I am not scared of spider usually but today it is too much, I can’t”
I start looking for the spider. I don’t feel confortable as I have also an arachnophobia. I hate spiders but one of us has to be brave to face the spider and it seems I am in a better condition for that. I start to move the clothes very carefully, my roommate is hiding behind me. I would like to tell her I am freaking out too but … I keep on looking for it with a lot of concentration. It is there. A huge black spider. I feel a strong shiver all over my body. I can understand why she was screaming like hell, I want to scream too. I am not able to help her. Suddenly the spider starts running. We both start to scream. What a situation ! A women for the dormitory enters our room, she is panicked too. Her eyes ask us what is going on ? I recognize her. This is the women who took 2 cup of beans. Life is really funny ! We point the spider out but it is not here anymore. Together we start looking for it. It is under my roommate’s bed. The women start holding a shoe to kill it. I scream “Please don’t kill it” but she seems not listening to me. I feel guilty I should have be brave and get rid of it. I should have use a glass or a tissue before, but the women hold the shoe firmly and in one move kill the spider. I feel really sad and ashamed.. I am also quite impressed by this woman who didn’t break her silence and helped us in less than 5 min. Her eyes are really warm and I feel she is a very kind person, even if she just killed a spider. Tension is going down. Both my roommate and me start to breath again. My roommate tells me “I won’t be able to sleep I can’t”. I answer “Try not to think about it and just go to sleep”. Why did I say something like that ? It is really useless. She looks at me strangely, I know that my words were useless and ridiculous. I should have remained silent ! This time, I meticulously arrange the mosquito net and realize I haven’t used it the last days !! Just because I haven’t seen any insects I thought there was no danger. Deny is dangerous !! For 1 hour, I can hear my roommate turning around in her bed. She has troubles to sleep. My words were really useless, I should have say something more useful but what ? Silence is better than words.