Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dharamsala, India: 1 July - 12 July 2007

My Meditation Experience

The day when i left from Delhi to Dharamsala, i was hanging around Paharagaj and Connaught Place. One Indian young guy basically just came to me and asked me whether i wanted to have sex with him! i don't know what was wrong with me. It seems like i am some kind of easy target to unwholesome things.

People molest me in the bus, even when i was sitting in the rishaw, somebody could just came to me and touched me thigh. When i shaked hand with people, they could just said hintingly, "Soft skin." i have talked to the girls in the retreat, none of them are getting this kind of things that i were getting!

Initially i plan to stay for may be another 4 to 5 days in Dharamsala to do yoga , massage and others. But a scottish girl and a Isreali girl i knew from the retreat are going to Leh and Kashmir later in 2 days time. i think i am joining them then, for safety reason. :)

The retreat centre is beautiful and peaceful. Right in the middle of pine tree forest in the mountain and we were like living in the cloud.

Out of 10 days, it rained for 7 days and it was so cold at night that i couldn't really sleep.

We did not speak for 10 days and the meditation was wonderful . The best i ever had in my life and in some way, it gave me some realizations. The schedule was very simple. Wake up 4am, meditate at 4.30am until 6.30am. Then breakfast until 8am. Continue to meditate until 11am and lunch until 1pm. Then meditate again until 5pm, dinner until 6pm and dhamma talk cum mediation until 9pm. Sleep at 9.30pm. So we have to do meditation for almost 12 hours everyday.

The first, second and third days were difficult. So much wondering minds that i couldn't meditate. Merely sittiang there and thought about this and that. i thought about my family, friends, colleagues, career and my travel. Some people really impressed me as they have never do a meditation before and yet they signed up for this kind of intensive meditation and yet they pull through the ten day. This reminded me of some of my buddhist friends who are so phobia about this kind of intensive meditation. They don't know what they have missed.

Day 1: We were asked to observe our breath. All i could do was thinking this and that and hardly be able to concentrate for more than 20 minutes.

Day 2: We were asked to observe the sensation at the triangle area from our upper lip to the nose area. Same to me. i could barely concentrate without the wondering mind.

Day 3: We were asked to observe the sensation of our whole body without reacting to it. Same same. This is callled vipassana. i had too much wondering mind to do anything.

For the rest of the day after this, we were to do vipassana, which is to observe the sensation of our whole body.

The forth day i am able to meditate a bit and by 5th day and the rest of the days, the meditation was good. i was able to observe my sensation (eg. numbness and pain at feet) without reacting to it. Watching the numbness came and go away and came again was amazing to me. Doesn't this just like life? A lot of time that you think the pain and suffering were unbearable, but when you pull through, then it was fine again. But the next time, you just experience another kind of pain and suffering. It just comes and goes all the time.

i feel peaceful and blessed after this retreat.

At the 10th day, we were allowed to talk. The sudden flood of sounds was over whelming that i thought it was so noisy and unbearable. But this 'lift' of ban has helped us to prepare for the 11th day when we have to back to the 'real world' again.
In some way, there was a kind of link between the people who we have been seeing for ten days but without any communication.

i am glad that i attended to this retreat and i am sure that, there will be another time for me.

When the weather is good, the Himalaya range could be clearly see from the town centre of MacLeod Ganj.

The reception of the meditation centre. This was the last day and everyone was busying making donation, buying books, returning bed sheet or getting back our valuable things.

A Rinpoche giving dhamma talk to the pilgrims from Taiwan during the week long celebration of Dalai Lama's birthday at Tsuglagkhang Complex.