My oh My,
A few years ago now I did a ten day vipassana mediation retreat. It was life changing and I recommend it to EVERYONE!! It’s up there on my very short list of things to do before you die along with psychedelics, tantric sex, foreign countries and swimming… Maybe forgiving and loving your parents is on there too. Anyway, short list.
What made the retreat so powerful was learning the basic theory of craving and aversion and about how these two core impulses are the gears that run our lives. I was able to viscerally experience this through the long and grueling mediation schedule. Every thought that flashed through my mind, every desire to shift my sitting position, was an unexamined, knee-jerk impulse conditioned by either craving or aversion.
We did about one hundred hours of meditation in those ten days and it gave me ample time to practice noticing. Just noticing these mechanisms at work. Noticing what I craved and what I didn’t. Noticing the far extents I go to get what I crave and to avoid what I don’t. In the course of one hundred hours, I was able to put a tiny wedge between me and those instincts. A small and ephemeral place where sometimes my consciousness can stand in neutrality and observe the carnival without being swept up in the rides.
These concepts are easier to apply in mediation than in daily life. The ability to be in neutral mind is easier on day seven of a meditation retreat than in the middle of a frustration situation at work, for example. But I have been playing a game with myself that has been able to bring a little bit of that noticing place into my every day interactions.
It is called The Curiosity Game and it is a fascinating heap of fun. You can learn more and CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE!!
Much love and happy spring,