“Half an inch behind your suffering there is bliss.”

~ Vasant Lad. Strands of Eternity

Before attending a 10-day Vipassana Meditation course almost a year ago, the longest I could meditate for was maybe 5 minutes. 10 minutes tops. The main reason (or so my monkey brain told me) was that I had back pain when sitting in the lotus position.

For the first 3 days of Vipassana, I kept having the same back pain. It was awful. But after that, the pain disappeared. My relief was short-lived though – I now had to deal with emotional pain! Suddenly physical pain seemed a lot nicer…

A few days ago, I had a big headache. I don’t take pain killers – I just wait it out. So I decided I might as well meditate. What followed was the deepest, most amazing meditation I have experienced. The last time I was able to get to this meditation bliss state was in fact on Day 9 of meditating non-stop at the Vipassana course!

The big idea behind meditation is to be present in the present moment. But often our thoughts take us to the past or the future. It is hard to follow your breath or feel the sensations on your body without the mind interrupting with urgent thoughts or feelings that tempt us to follow them.

With my headache, I realized that physical pain is one of the biggest things that keeps us in the present. It is hard to have thoughts other than “that really hurts!! I’m in so much pain!”. Being prevented from thinking of the past or future, the only thing I could focus on was my present pain. I observed it, and soon all the pain from my entire body went away and I experienced bliss.

Next up, I need to work on using my emotional pain in the same way as I used my physical pain – to keep me in the present. That’s much harder for me to do.

“In between you and God there is a barrier of thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Just half an inch behind those emotions exists the divinity of God.

But the moment you feel those emotions you run away. You open the Bible. You read the Gita. The moment you have an emotional reaction of anxiety or anger, you try to escape the reality.

God is eager to see you but you are hidden behind your anger, fear and insecurity. Surrender to what you are feeling.

This is the only way to bridge the distance between you and God.”

~ Vasant Lad. Strands of Eternity






October 1, 2018

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