A spiritual experience.
took place at a Goenkaji ten day Vipassana course
held in Bombay. This was in the year “…”. It was
my first course with Goenka, and it was brutal.
It was May. It was unbelievably hot. It was humid
as well. We were staying at a school which was
empty for the summer, and we were sleeping in the
classrooms on a cement floor.
A guy came around with a bag full of white powder
on his shoulder, and dipping his hand in the bag,
he sprinkled a white powder all around the edges
of the room. What was the white powder? DDT.
The meditation sessions took place in some
huge kind of open metal building. Because the
building was open, pigeons used to come and roost
on the rafters over our heads.
We meditated for ten one hour sessions per day.
During one of the sessions we took a vow not
to move. Those sessions were excruciating, and with
the pigeons cooing up above, you never knew when
they might bless you with their ‘heavenly droppings.’
Of course in the evenings there were the mosquitoes,
and the smell of some horrible Indian mosquito
repellent which they seemed to attract them. You
might not think how long it takes to witness without
moving the sensation of a misquito biting you start to
finish while slimy misquito repellent runs down your face,
and your knee throbs in pain.
One day, added to all of these attractions,
someone in the neighborhood started blasting a
popular Bollywood film song of the time over a
loud speaker. I still remember the title of the song.
It was ‘Bobby.’
This was during one of our non-moving meditation sessions.
I decided I wasn’t going to let ‘Bobby,’ or the mosquitoes
or the pigeons, or the horrible pain in my leg get me down.
So I redoubled my efforts to concentrate and not to move.
All of a sudden I realized I had stopped breathing. Well,
after thinking about it a bit, I decided I wasn’t going to
let that effect me. I determined to keep on sitting.
Suddenly my whole body, burst into what I
can only describe as bliss on a cellular level. Still
‘I’ was present (That should have been a hint, but I didn’t
take it as such at the time)
When Goenkaji ended the session by chanting as he always
did, I didn’t really want to come out of it. After the
last meditation session of the day, people would form
a line and go up and talk to Goenkaji if they had any
questions to ask him.
I got in the line. When it was my turn, I said to
him, “The most wonderful thing happened this evening…”
and I wanted to go on and tell him what it was, cause
I thought I had really ‘gotten’ somewhere, and that it
was a big sign of progress.
Goenkaji stopped me mid-sentence, and he got a little
bit almost angry. He was definitely very stern, “If you
get attached to that kind of this, he said, “you will
never get anywhere.”
That burst my bubble. I was really shocked. My great
spiritual experience according to Goenka was something
that could actually be a hindrance.
Well, live and learn.
But you know, it really really was cool 😉
From: Guru Ratings Forum