I recently heard a wise man say to “observe the misery and gain wisdom from the misery”. I was struck by the power and application of this instruction, especially because the same wise man couples this statement with the inevitability of change. This post unpacks the statement in how it relates both individually and collectively, and ultimately helps to understand how it leads us to empowered happiness.
Okay, okay … yes, I did just complete my first 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. So yes, my lens has been shifted to see more of the habit-patterns not only within myself but equally outside myself as well. The night I returned home from a week and a half of meditative silence and introspection I cried for hours.
Like a baptism into the realm of awareness and equanimity, I cried.
The 10-days was a rollercoaster of subtle proportions. The location and weather were purely delightful – well fed, well slept, well chaperoned by nearby Mount Cooroora in Pomona. The setting held the space in such a way that meditators had nothing to consider or do beside follow the gong’s instruction to move onto the next session, and then, do the work. And work I did for 10 meditative hours a day, following all of S.N. Goenka’s clear and eloquent instructions.
The darling Burmese born and raised Indian man, Goenka, opened the doorway to this Dharmic meditation methodology for us in the modern world; a doorway that had been previously popluarised 2,500 years earlier by Goutama Buddha. The Vipassana method is entirely simple, practical and experientially based, far from the cosmic out-of-body soul journeys of many a guru. It’s basis is awareness and equanimity/non-reaction in feeling sensation on and in the body, observing and responding rather than mindlessly being thrown around by the conditioned experiences of our mind-body where we react without realising. The purpose is to allow healing within the psycho-somatic relationship with the aid of awareness and equanimity, releasing/liberating stored energy patterns, ultimately allowing for all beings to be happy. Truly … happy.
The technique is potent in it’s impact on the body, allowing the meditator to move from the gross (i.e. obvious) to subtle bodily experiences. Clearly guided to be patient, persistent, diligent, vigilant and intelligent, I couldn’t help but see the parallels of this approach to many of those catalogued in my fractal kaleidoscope of integral frameworks applying to us humans.
As you may well know, my lens for the world is strongly guided by pattern recognition, honing in on approaches speaking similar languages - those multivalent archetypal understandings helping us humans thrive with the laws of nature. Much of what’s spoken through these pattern languages is the idea of SELF RESPONSIBILITY. I touched on this concept in my last post titled ‘The Choice Is Yours’, exploring the creative potential of taking care of our health in the name of self responsibility. I was thrilled to see this approach very clearly articulated in Vipassana meditation. We, ourselves, are the only ones who can liberate our bodies from the deeply stored energies of trauma (and karmic perpetuation, as Goenka explains). And the keys to tapping into those deeply stored septic energies are awareness and non-reaction.
These posts offer you insights & practical tools to support you to thrive for a better world!
Sign-up for monthly newsletter updates:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.