Left hip on fire…Stabbing sensation right side lower back…mind everywhere but the ‘present.’
If the teacher does not ring that bell RIGHT NOW and end today’s miserable excuse for my meditation, then I may be forced to stand up and ring it for her! (Please note, this is a slightly more PG version of my inner most ramblings on that day).
Now, I do not consider myself an angry person. Nor do I think of myself as particularly impatient. But boy, did both those sides rear their ugly heads during some of my meditation practices over the last few days! Weeks one and two of my yoga training seemed to be my sleeping phase, while week three was a mix of drowsy days and a sprinkling of blissful still moments (during which I almost thought I’d got this meditation lark on the right road).
Then along comes week four to shatter my illusions…
Welcome to the week of some pretty strong emotions! Yes, I’ve uttered a good few internal expletives on my mat this week. But according to my teacher, that could actually mean I am on the right track! In yoga, we talk about things called vasanas – impure tendencies or little negative impressions that have imprinted themselves on our minds somewhere along our life’s journey. Meditation can often provide the perfect stage for these vasanas to play out and it seems my anger and impatience are just two of those that have started to bubble up to the surface! Sitting still with only our subconscious mind for company can help us to root out these vasanas and move towards yoga’s ultimate goal – moksha. While it sounds like some sort of cocktail (“I’ll have a moksha on the rocks…shaken not stirred”) – it simply means freedom. Liberation from our habitual thoughts, stresses, concerns, stories.
Today we head up to the north coast of Bali to Singaraja to begin a week of silent retreat. The days will begin early – 5.30am on our mats for morning meditation, pranayama and yoga practice. Then breakfast followed by meditation, lunch followed by meditation, dinner followed by meditation…you get the idea. During this week, the rules include no talking, eye contact, touching, hugging, texting, reading or writing. We do get a very short slot during the day to take a stroll along the beach or a swim in the ocean. (Thankfully topping up the tan is not on the forbidden list.)
I have to say after the intensity of the last four weeks both physically and mentally, I am quite looking forward to embracing the silence. I think the last time I was silent for any period of time was during a bad bout of tonsillitis, but even that only lasted a day or two! I am curious as to what will unfold internally once I press the mute button. Here’s hoping that the person I am spending an entire week with – that’s me by the way – will be good company!